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TRAGEDIES 
II 


Translated  by 
FRANK  JUSTUS  MILLER 


Complete  list  of  Loeb  titles  can  be 
found  at  the  end  of  each  volume 


SENECA,  Lucius  Annaeus,  born  at 
Corduba  (Cordova)  c.5  or  4  B.C.,  of  a 
noble  and  wealthy  family,  after  an  ailing 
childhood  and  youth  at  Rome  in  an  aunt's 
care,  was  a  victim  of  life-long  neurosis  but 
became  famous  in  rhetoric,  philosophy, 
money-making,  and  imperial  service. 
After  some  disgrace  during  Claudius'  reign 
he  became  tutor  and  then,  in  A. 0.54, 
advising  minister  to  Nero,  some  of  whose 
worst  misdeeds  he  did  not  prevent.  In- 
volved (innocently?)  in  a  conspiracy,  he 
killed  himself  by  order  in  A. 0.65.  Wealthy, 
he  preached  indifference  to  wealth; 
evader  of  pain  and  death,  he  preached 
scorn  of  both;  and  there  were  other 
contrasts  between  practice  and  principle. 
Wicked  himself  he  was  not.  Of  his  works 
we  have  10  mis-called  'Dialogi',  seven 
being  philosophical  -  on  providence, 
steadfastness,  happy  life,  anger,  leisure, 
calmness  of  mind,  shortness  of  life;  3 
other  treatises  (on  money,  benefits,  and 
natural  phenomena);  124  'Epistulae 
morales'  all  addressed  to  one  person;  a 
skit  on  the  official  deification  of  Claudius ; 
and  9  rhetorical  tragedies  (not  for  acting) 
on  ancient  Greek  themes.  Many  'Epistulae' 
and  all  his  speeches  are  lost.  Much  of  his 
thought  is  clever  rather  than  deep,  and  his 
style  is  pointed  rather  than  ample. 


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FOUNDED  BY  JAMES  LOEB,  LL.D. 

EDITED    BY 

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PREVIOUS  EDITORS 

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|W.  H.  D.  ROUSE,  LITT.D.         tL.  A.  POST,  L.H.D. 
tE.  H.  WARMINGTON,  M.A.,  F.R.HIST.SOC. 


SENECA 
IX 

TRAGEDIES  II 


78 


SENECA 

IN   NINE   VOLUMES 
IX 

TRAGEDIES   II 

WITH    AN    ENGLISH    TRANSLATION    BY 

FRANK   JUSTUS   MILLER, 
PH.D.,    LL.D. 

PROFESSOR  IN  THE  UNIVERSITY  OF  CHICAGO 

AGAMEMNON      THYESTES 
HERCULES  OETAEUS      PHOENISSAE 

OCTAVIA 


CAMBRIDGE,    MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD     UNIVERSITY     PRESS 

LONDON 

WILLIAM    HEINEMANN    LTD 

MCMLXXXVII 


American  ISBN  0-674-99087-0 
British  ISBN  o  434  99078  7 


First  printed  1917 
Reprinted  and  revised  1929 
Reprinted  1953,  1961,  1968 
Reprinted  and  revised  1987 


Printed  in  Great  Britain  by 
Richard  Clay  Ltd,  Bungay,  Suffolk 


CONTENTS 


PAGE 

SELECT  BIBLIOGRAPHY  (1987) vi 

AGAMEMNON 1 

THYESTES 89 

HERCULES  OETAEUS 183 

PHOENISSAE 343 

OCTAVIA 399 

APPENDIX.       COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES        . 491 

INDEX  511 


SELECT    BIBLIOGRAPHY    (1987) 

Editions 

I.  C.  Giardina:  Bologna,  1966 

Otto  Zwierlein:  OCT,  Oxford,  1986  (incl.  Oetaeus  and  Octaria) 
R.  J.  Tarrant:  Agamemnon  (with  commentary),  Cambridge,  1976 
R.  J.  Tarrant:   Thyestes  (with  commentary),  APA  Texts,  Atlanta, 

1985 

Index  Verborum 

W.  A.  Oldfather,  A.  S.  Pease,  H.  V.  Canter:  Urbana,  1918 

Translations 

Thomas  Newton  (1581):  repr.  with  introd.  by  T.  S.  Eliot,  Bloom- 

ington,  1966 
E.  F.  Wading:  Four  tragedies  (incl.  Thyestes)  and  Octaria  (Penguin 

Classics),  Harmondsworth,  1966 

Studies 

B.  Axelson:  Korniptelenkult  (textual  study  of  the  Oetaeus),  Lund, 
1967 

T.  S.  Eliot:  'Seneca  in  Elizabethan  Translation,'  Collected  Essays 
65-105,  London,  1951 

C.  J.  Herington:  'Senecan  Tragedy,'  Anon  5  (1966)  422—4-71 

C.  J.  Herington:  Camb.  Hist.  Class.  Lit.  II  (1982)  51 1-532  (includes 

excursus  on  Octaria) 

L.  Herrmann:  Le  Theatre  de  Seneque,  Paris  1924 
B.  L.  Marti:  'Seneca's  Tragedies:  A  New  Interpretation,'  TAP  A  76 

(1945)216-245 
R.  H.  Philp:  'The  Manuscript  Tradition  of  Seneca's  Tragedies,' 

C£  18  (1968)  150-179 
Bernd   Seidensticker:   Die   Gesprdchsrerdichtung  in  den    Tragodien 

Senecas,  Heidelberg,  1969 

Otto  Zwierlein:  Die  Rezitationsdramen  Senecas,  Meisenheim,  1966 
Otto    Zwierlein:    Prolegomena     c.w    einer    kritischen    Ausgabe    der 

Tragodien  Senecas,  Mainz,  1984 

Bibliographical 

Michael   Coffey:   'Seneca,    Tragedies   1922-55,'   Lustrum   2   (1957) 

113-186 
E.  Lefevre  (ed.):   Senecas   Tragodien,  Darmstadt,    1972,   583-592 

(from  1956  onward) 


VI 


AGAMEMNON 


DRAMATIS   PERSONAE 

AGAMEMNON,  king  oj  Argos,  and  leader  of  all  the  Greeks  in 
their  war  against  Troy. 

GHOST  OF  THYESTES,  returned  to  earth  to  urge  on  his  son  to  the 
vengeance  which  he  was  born  to  accomplish. 

AEGISTHUS,  son  of  Thyeste*  by  an  incestuous  union  with  his 
daughter  ;  paramour  of  Clytemntstra. 

CLYTEMNESTRA,  wife  of  Agamemnon,  who  has  been  plotting 
with  Aegisthus  against  her  husband,  in  his  absence  at 
Troy. 

CHORUS  of  Argive  women. 

EURYBATES,  messenger  of  Agamemnon. 

CASSANDRA,  daughter  of  Priam ,  captive  of  Agamemnon. 

KLECTRA,  daughter  of  Agamemnon  and  Clytemnestra. 

STROPHIUS,  king  of  Phocis. 

ORESTES,  son  of  Agamemnon  (persona  muta). 

PYLADES,  son  of  Strophius  (persona  muta). 

BAND  of  captive  Trojan  women. 

THE  SCENE  is  laid  partly  within  and  partly  without  the 
palace  of  Agamemnon  at  Argos  or  Mycenae,  on  the  day  of 
the  return  of  the  king  from  his  long  absence  at  Troy,  begin- 
ning in  the  period  of  darkness  just  preceding  the  dawn. 


ARGUMENT 

THE  blood -feud  between  Atreus  and  Thyestes  was  not 
ended  with  the  terrible  vengeance  which  Atreus  wreaked 
upon  his  brother.  It  was  yet  in  fate  that  Thyestes  should 
live  to  beget  upon  his  own  daughter  a  son,  Aegistfius,  who 
should  slay  Atreus  and  bring  ruin  and  death  upon  the 
great  Atridcs,  Agamemnon. 

The  Trojan  war  is  done.  And  now  the  near  approach 
of  the  victorious  king,  bringing  his  captives  and  treasure 
home  to  Argos.  has  been  announced.  But  little  does  he 

O        ' 

dream  to  what  a  home  he  is  reluming.  For  Clytemnestra, 
enraged  at  Agamemnon  because  he  had  sacrificed  her 

O  O  •' 

daughter  Iphigenia  at  Aulis  to  appease  the  winds,  and 
full  of  jealousy  because  he  brings  Cassandra  as  her  rival 
home,  estranged  also  by  the  long-continued  absence  of  her 
lord,  but  most  estranged  by  her  own  guilty  union  with 
Aegisthus,  is  now  plotting  to  slay  her  husband  on  his 
return,  gaining  thus  at  once  revenge  and  safety  from 
his  wrath. 


AGAMEMNON 

THYESTIS    VMBRA 

OPACA  linquens  Ditis  inferni  loca 

adsum  profundo  Tartar!  emissus  specu, 

incertus  utras  oderim  sedes  magis — 

fugio  Thyestes  inferos,  superos  fugo. 

en  horret  animus  et  pavor  membra  excutit  : 

video  paternos,  immo  fraternos  lares. 

hoc  est  vetustum  Pelopiae  limen  domus  ; 

hinc  auspicari  regium  capiti  decus 

mos  est  Pelasgis,  hoc  sedent  alti  toro 

quibus  superba  sceptra  gestantur  manu,  10 

locus  hie  habendae  curiae — hie  epulis  locus. 

Libet  reverti.     nonne  vel  tristes  lacus 
incolere  satius,  nonne  custodem  Stygis 
trigemina  nigris  colla  iactantem  iubis  ? 
ubi  ille  celeri  corpus  evinctus  rotae 
in  se  refertur,  ubi  per  adversum  irritus 
redeunte  totiens  luditur  saxo  labor, 
ubi  tondet  ales  avida  fecundum  iecur,  , 

et  inter  undas  fervida  exustus  siti 
aquas  fugaces  ore  decepto  appetit  20 

poenas  daturus  caelitum  dapibus  graves, 
sed  ille  nostrae  pars  quota  est  culpae  senex  ? 
reputemus  omnes  quos  ob  infandas  manus 
4 


AGAMEMNON 

GHOST    OF    THYESTES 

LEAVING  the  murky  regions  of  infernal  Dis,  I  come,, 
sent  forth  from  Tartarus'  deep  pit,  doubting  which 
world  I  hate  the  more — Thyestes  flees  the  lower,  the 
upper  he  puts  to  flight.  Lo,  my  spirit  shudders,  my 
limbs  quake  with  fear ;  I  see  my  father's,  nay  more, 
my  brother's  house.  This  is  the  ancient  seat  of 
Pelops'  line  ;  here  'tis  the  custom  of  the  Pelasgians 
to  crown  their  kings ;  on  this  throne  sit  high  lords 
whose  proud  hands  wield  the  sceptre ;  here  is  their 
council-chamber — here  they  feast.1 

12  Fain  would  I  turn  me  back.  Is  it  not  better  to 
haunt  even  the  gloomy  pools,  better  to  gaze  upon 
the  guardian  of  the  Styx,  tossing  his  three-fold  neck 
with  sable  mane  ?  where  one,2  his  body  bound  on 
the  swift-flying  wheel,  is  whirled  back  upon  himself; 
where  vain  uphill  toil  3  is  mocked  as  the  stone  rolls 
ever  backward ;  where  a  greedy  bird  tears  at  the 
liver4  constantly  renewed  ;  and  the  old  man,5  thirst- 
parched  midst  waters,  catches  at  fleeing  waves  with 
cheated  lips,  doomed  to  pay  dearly  for  the  banquet 6 
of  the  gods.  But  how  small  a  part  of  my  offence  is 
his  ?  Let  us  take  count  of  all  whom  for  their 

1  He  is  reminded  of  his  own  horrid  banquet  in  this  very 
place. 

a  Ixion.  3  Of  Sisyphus.  4  Of  Tityus. 

6  Tantalus.  6  See  Index  a.v.  "Pelops." 

5 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quaesitor  urna  Cnosius  versat  reos  : 
vincam  Thyestes  sceleribus  cunctos  meis. 
a  fratre  vincar,  liberis  plenus  tribus 
in  me  sepultis  ;  viscera  exedi  mea. 

Nee  hactenus  Fortuna  maculavit  patrera, 
sed  maius  aliud  ausa  commisso  scelus 
natae  nefandos  petere  concubitus  iubet.  30 

non  pavidus  hausi  dicta,  sed  cepi  nefas. 
ergo  ut  per  onines  liberos  irem  parens, 
coacta  fatis  nata  fert  uterum  gravem, 
me  patre  dignum.     versa  natura  est  retro  ; 
avo  parentem,  pro  nefas  !  patri  virum, 
natis  nepotes  miscui — nocti  diem. 

Sed  sera  tandem  respicit  fessos  malis 
post  fata  demum  sortis  incertae  fides ; 
rex  ille  regum,  ductor  Agamemnon  ducum, 
cuius  secutae  mille  vexillum  rates  40 

Iliaca  velis  maria  texerunt  suis, 
post  decima  Phoebi  lustra  devicto  Ilio 
adest — daturus  coniugi  iugulum  suae. 
iam  iam  natabit  sanguine  alterno  domus  : 
enses  secures  tela,  divisum  gravi 
ictu  bipennis  regium  video  caput ; 
iam  scelera  prope  sunt,  iam  dolus,  caedes,  cruor — 
parantur  epulae.      causa  natalis  tui, 
Aegisthe,  venit.     quid  pudor  vultus  gravat? 
quid  dextra  dubio  trepida  consilio  labat  ?  50 

quid  ipse  temet  consulis,  torques,  rogas, 
an  deceat  hoc  te  ?     respice  ad  matrem  ;  decet. 

1  Minos.  "  i.e.  Thyestes. 

3  i  e.  Thyestes  acted  by  direction  of  an  oracle,   which  de- 
clared   that   by   this   means   he   might    gain   vengeance   on 
Atreus'  line. 

4  It  will  not  be  his  branch  of  the  family  that  shall  suffer 
this  time. 

6 


AGAMEMNON 

impious  deeds  the  Cretan  judge1  with  whirling  urn 
condemns ;  all  of  them  by  my  crimes  shall  I,  Thyes- 
tes,  conquer.  But  by  my  brother  shall  I  be  con- 
quered, full  of  my  three  sons  buried  in  me  ;  my  own 
Hesh  have  1  consumed. 

23  Nor  thus  far  only  has  Fortune  defiled  the  sire,2 
but,  daring  greater  crime  than  that  committed,  she 
bade  him  seek  his  daughter's  incestuous  embrace. 
Fearlessly  and  to  the  dregs  did  I  drain  her  bidding, 
but  'twas  an  impious  thing  I  did.  And  therefore,  that 
a  father's  power  might  extend  o'er  all  his  children, 
my  daughter,  forced  by  fate,3  bore  child  to  me,  wor- 
thy to  call  me  father.  Nature  has  been  confounded  ; 
father  with  grandsire,  yea,  monstrous  !  husband  with 
father,  grandsons  with  sons,  have  I  confused — and 
day  with  night. 

37  But  at  length,  though  late  and  coming  after 
death,  the  promise  of  dim  prophecy  is  fulfilled  to  me, 
worn  with  my  woes  ;  that  king  of  kings,  that  leader 
of  leaders,  Agamemnon,  following  whose  banner  a 
thousand  ships  once  covered  the  Trojan  waters  with 
their  sails,  now  that,  after  ten  courses  of  Phoebus, 
Ilium  is  o'erthrown,  now  is  he  near  at  hand — to  give 
his  throat  into  his  wife's  power.  Now,  now  shall  this 
house  swim  in  blood  other  than  mine  ; 4  swords, 
axes,  spears,  a  king's  head  cleft  with  the  axe's  heavy 
stroke,  I  see ;  now  crimes  are  near,  now  treachery, 
slaughter,  gore — feasts  are  being  spread.  The  author 
of  thy  birth  has  come,  Aegisthus.5  Why  dost  hang 
thy  head  in  shame  ?  Why  doth  thy  trembling  hand, 
doubtful  of  purpose,  fall  ?  Why  dost  take  counsel 
with  thyself,  why  turn  the  question  o'er  and  o'er 
whether  this  deed  become  thee  ?  Think  on  thy 
mother  ;  it  becomes  thee  well. 

5  These   and    the   remaining   lines   of   the   paragraph   are 
addressed  to  Aegisthus,  seemingly  as  if  he  were  present. 

7 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Sed  cur  repente  noctis  aestivae  vices 
hiberna  longa  spatia  producunt  mora, 
aut  quid  cadentes  detinet  stellas  polo  ? 
Phoebum  moramur?     redde  iam  mundo  diem. 


CHORVS 

O  regnorum  magnis  fallax 
Fortuna  bonis,  in  praecipiti 
dubioque  locas  nimis  excelsos. 
numquam  placidam  sceptra  quietem  60 

certumve  sui  tenuere  diem  ; 
alia  ex  aliis  cura  fatigat 
vexatque  animos  nova  tempestas. 
non  sic  Libycis  syrtibus  aequor 
furit  alternos  volvere  fluctus, 
non  Eu).  ini  turget  ab  imis 
commota  vadis  unda  nivali 
vicina  polo, 

ubi  caeruleis  immunis  aquis 
lucida  versat  plaustra  Bootes,  70 

ut  praecipites  regum  casus 
Fortuna  rotat.     metui  cupiunt 
metuique  timent,  non  nox  illis 
alma  recessus  praebet  tutos, 
non  curarum  somnus  domitor 
pectora  solvit. 

Quas  non  arces  scelus  alternum 
dedit  in  praeceps  ?  impia  quas  non 
arma  fatigant  ?  iura  pudorque 
et  coniugii  sacrata  fides  80 

fugiunt  aulas.     sequitur  tristis 
sanguinolenta  Bellona  manu 
quaeque  superbos  urit  Erinys, 


AGAMEMNON 

53  But  why  suddenly  is  the  summer  night  pro- 
longed to  winter's  span  ?  or  what  holds  the  setting 
stars  still  in  the  sky?  Are  we  delaying  Phoebus? 
[Preparing  to  go.~\  Give  back  the  day  now  to  the 
universe.  [Ghost  vanishes.] 

CHORUS 

O  Fortune,  who  dost  bestow  the  throne's  high 
boon  \yith  mocking  hand,  in  dangerous  and  doubtful 
state  thou  settest  the  too  exalted.  Never  have 
sceptres  obtained  calm  peace  or  certain  tenure ;  care 
on  care  weighs  them  down,  and  ever  do  fresh  storms 
vex  their  souls.  Not  so  on  Libyan  quicksands  does 
the  sea  rage  and  roll  up  wave  on  wave ;  not  so, 
stirred  from  their  lowest  depths,  surge  Euxine's 
waters,  hard  by  the  icy  pole,  where,  undipped  in  the 
azure,  waves,1  Bootes  follows  his  shining  wain,  as 
does  Fortune  roll  on  the  headlong  fates  of  kings. 
To  be  feared  they  long,  and  to  be  feared  they  dread  ; 
kindly  i  ight  gives  them  no  safe  retreat,  and  sleep, 
which  conquers  care,  soothes  not  their  breasts. 

77  What  palace  has  not  crime  answering  crime 2 
hurled  headlong  ?  What  palace  do  impious  arms  not 
vex?  Law,  shame,  the  sacred  bonds  of  marriage, 
all  flee  from  courts.  Hard  in  pursuit  comes  grim 
Bellona  of  the  bloody  hand,  and  she  who  frets  the 

1  i.e.  the  Northern  constellations  never  set   beneath  the 
sea. 

2  i.e.  waged  by  one  member  of  a  royal  house  against  another. 

9 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

iiimias  semper  comitata  domos, 
quas  in  plarmm  quaelibet  hora 
tulit  ex  alto. 

Licet  arma  vacent  cessentque  doli, 
sidunt  ipso  pondere  magna 
ceditque  oneri  Fortuna  suo. 
vela  secundis  inflata  notis 
ventos  nimium  timuere  suos, 
nubibus  ipsis  inserta  caput 
turris  pluvio  vapulat  Austro, 
densasque  nemus  spargens  umbras 
annosa  videt  robora  frangi ; 
feriunt  celsos  fulmina  colles, 
corpora  morbis  maiora  patent 
et  cum  in  pastus  armenta  vagos 
villa  currant,  placet  in  vulnus 
maxima  cervix.  100 

Quidquid  in  altum  Fortuna  tulit, 
ruitura  levat.     modicis  rebus 
longius  aevum  est ;  felix  mediae 
quisquis  turbae  sorte  quietus 
aura  stringit  litora  tuta 
timidusque  mari  credere  cumbam 
remo  terras  propiore  legit. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Quid,  segnis  anime,  tuta  consilia  expetis? 
quid  fluctuaris  ?     clausa  iam  melior  via  est. 
licuit  pudicos  coniugis  quondam  toros  1 1 0 

et  sceptra  casta  vidua  tutari  fide  ; 
periere  mores  ius  decus  pietas  fides — 
et  qui  redire  cum  perit  nescit  pudor. 
da  frena  et  omnem  prona  ncquitiam  incita  ; 
per  scelera  semper  sceleribus  tutum  est  iter. 
10 


AGAMEMNON 

proud,  Erinys,  forever  dogging  homes  too  high, 
which  any  hour  brings  low  from  high  estate. 

87  Though  arms  be  idle  and  treachery  give  o'er, 
great  kingdoms  sink  of  their  own  weight,  and  For- 
tune gives  way  'neath  the  burden  of  herself.  Sails 
swollen  with  favouring  breezes  fear  blasts  too 
strongly  theirs ;  the  tower  which  rears  its  head  to 
the  very  clouds  is  beaten  by  rainy  Auster ;  the 
grove,  spreading  dense  shade  around,  sees  ancient 
oak-trees  riven  ;  'tis  the  high  hills  that  the  lightnings 
strike ;  large  bodies  are  more  to  disease  exposed, 
and  while  common  herds  stray  o'er  vagrant  pastures, 
the  head  highest  upreared  is  marked  for  death. 

101  Whatever  Fortune  has  raised  on  high,  she  lifts 
but  to  bring  low.  Modest  estate  has  longer  life  ; 
then  happy  he  whoe'er,  content  with  the  common 
lot,  with  safe  breeze  hugs  the  shore,  and,  fearing  to 
trust  his  skiff  to  the  wider  sea,  with  unambitious  oar 
keeps  close  to  land. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Why,  sluggish  soul,  dost  safe  counsel  seek  ?  Why 
waver  ?  Already  the  better  way  is  closed.  Once 
thou  mightest  have  guarded  thy  chaste  bed  and  thy 
widowed  sceptre  with  pure,  wifely  faith;  gone  are 
good  fashions,  right  doing,  honour,  piety,  faith, — and 
modesty,  which,  once  'tis  gone,  knows  no  return. 
Fling  loose  the  reins  and,  forward  bent,  rouse  onward 
all  iniquity ;  through  crime  ever  is  the  safe  way  for 

11 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

tecum  ipsa  nunc  evolve  femineos  dolos, — 

quod  ulla  coniunx  perfida  atque  impos  sui 

amore  caeco,  quod  novercales  manus 

ausae,  quod  ardens  impia  virgo  face, 

Phasiaca  fugiens  regna  Thessalica  trabe  ;  120 

ferrum,  venena ;  vel  Mycenaeas  domos 

coniuncta  socio  profuge  furtiva  rate. 

quid  timida  loqueris  furta  et  exilium  et  fugas  ? 

soror  ista  fecit ;  te  decet  maius  nefas. 


NVTRIX 


Regina  Danaum  et  inclitum  Ledae  genus, 
quid  tacita  versas  quidve  consilii  impotens 
tumido  feroces  impetus  animo  geris  ? 
licet  ipsa  sileas,  totus  in  vultu  est  dolor, 
proin  quidquid  est,  da  tempus  ac  spatium  tibi : 
quod  ratio  non  quit  saepe  sanavit  mora.  ISO 


CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Maiora  cruciant  quam  ut  moras  possim  pati ; 
flammae  medullas  et  cor  exurunt  meum, 
mixtus  dolori  subdidit  stimulos  timor, 
invidia  pulsat  pectus  ;  hinc  animum  iugo 
premit  cupido  turpis  et  vinci  vetat. 
et  inter  istas  mentis  obsessae  faces, 
fessus  quidem  et  devinctus  et  pessumdatus, 
pudor  rebellat.     fluctibus  variis  agor, 
ut  cum  hinc  profundum  ventus,  hinc  aestus  rapit, 
incerta  dubitat  unda  cui  cedat  malo.  1 40 

proinde  omisi  regimen  e  manibus  meis— 
quocumque  me  ira,  quo  dolor,  quo  spes  feret, 


1  Medea.  *  Helen. 

12 


AGAMEMNON 

crime.  Devise  now  in  thine  own  heart  a  woman's 
wiles, — what  any  faithless  wife,  beside  herself  with 
blind  passion,  what  step-mother's  hands  have  dared, 
or  what  she  dared,  that  maid  l  ablaze  with  impious 
love,  who  fled  her  Phasian  realm  in  that  Thessalian 
bark ;  dare  sword,  dare  poison ;  or  else  flee  from 
Mycenae  with  the  partner  of  thy  guilt,  in  stealthy 
bark.  But  why  timidly  talk  of  stealth,  of  exile,  and 
of  flight  ?  Such  things  thy  sister 2  did ;  thee  some 
greater  crime  becomes. 

NURSE 

Queen  of  the  Greeks,  Leda's  illustrious  child, 
what  ponderest  thou  in  silence,  what  mad  deed, 
ungoverned  in  thy  purpose,  art  planning  with  rest- 
less soul?  Though  thou  say  no  word,  thy  face 
discovers  all  thy  anguish.  Wherefore,  whate'er  it  be, 
give  thyself  time  and  room ;  what  reason  cannot, 
delay  has  ofttimes  cured. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Passions  rack  me  too  strong  to  endure  delay ; 
flames  are  burning  my  very  marrow  and  my  heart ; 
here  fear8  blent  with  anguish  plies  the  spur,  and 
my  breast  throbs  with  jealousy;4  there  base  love 
forces  its  yoke  upon  my  mind  and  forbids  me  to 
give  way.  And  midst  such  fires  that  beset  my  soul, 
shame,  weary  indeed  and  conquered  and  utterly 
undone,  still  struggles  on.5  By  shifting  floods  am 
I  driven,  as  when  here  wind,  there  tide  harries  the 
deep,  and  the  waters  halt  uncertain  to  which  foe 
they  will  yield.  Wherefore  I  have  let  go  the  rudder 
from  my  hands — where  wrath,  where  smart,  where 

3  i.e.  of  Agamemnon's  vengeance. 

4  Of  Cassandra.      _,    6  i.e.  against  lust. 

IS 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

hue  ire  pergam  ;  fluctibus  dedimus  ratem. 
ubi  animus  errat,  optimum  est  casum  sequi. 

NVTR1X 

Caeca  est  temeritas  quae  petit  casum  ducem. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Cui  ultima  est  fortuna,  quid  dubiam  timet? 

NVTRIX 
Tuta  est  latetque  culpa,  si  pateris,  tua. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Perlucet  omne  regiae  vitium  domus. 

NVTRIX 
Piget  prioris  et  novum  crimen  struis  ? 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Res  est  profecto  stulta  nequitiae  modus.  150 

NVTRIX 

Quod  metuit  auget  qui  scelus  scelere  obruit. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Et  ferrum  et  ignis  saepe  medicinae  loco  est. 

NVTRIX 

Extrema  primo  nemo  temptavit  loco. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Rapienda  rebus  in  malis  praeceps  via  est. 


AGAMEMNON 

hope  shall  carry  me,  there  will  J  go ;  to  the  waves 
have  I  given  my  bark.  Where  reason  fails,  'tis  best 
to  follow  chance. 

NURSE 

Blind  is  he  and  rash  who  follows  chance. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

When  fortune  is  at  its  worst,  why  fear  its  hazard  ? 

NURSE 
Safe  is  thy  sin  and  hidden,  if  thou  allow  it  so. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Open  to  view  is  a  royal  house's  every  sin. 

NURSE 

Dost  repent  the  old  crime,  yet  plan  the  new  ? 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Surely  'tis  folly  to  stop  midway  in  sin. 

NURSE 

Whoso  piles  crime  on  crime,  makes  greater  what 
ne  dreads.1 

CLYTEM-NESTRA 

Both  knife  and  cautery  oft  take  the  place  of  drugs. 

NURSE 
Desperate  remedies  no  one  tries  at  first. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

In  midst  of  ills,  we  must  snatch  at  headlong  ways. 

1  i.e.  the  penalty. 

15 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

NVTRIX 

At  te  reflectat  coniugi  nomen  sacrum. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Decem  per  annos  vidua  respiciam  virum  ? 

NVTRIX 

Meminisse  debes  sobolis  ex  illo  tuae. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Equidem  et  iugales  filiae  memini  faces 
et  generum  Achillem  ;  praestitit  matri  fidem  ' 

NVTRIX 

Redemit  ilia  classis  immotae  moras  160 

et  maria  pigro  fixa  languore  impulit. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Pudet  doletque — Tyndaris,  caeli  genus, 
lustrale  class!  Doricae  peperi  caput ! 
revolvit  animus  virginis  thalamos  meae 
quos  ille  dignos  Pelopia  fecit  domo, 
cum  stetit  ad  aras  ore  sacrifice  pater 
quam  nuptiales  !     horruit  Calchas  suae 
responsa  vocis  et  recedentes  focos. 
o  scelei'a  semper  sceleribus  vincens  domus  ! 
cruore  ventos  emimus,  bellum  nece  !  170 

sed  vela  pariter  mille  fecerunt  rates  ? 
non  est  soluta  prospero  classis  deo : 
eiecit  Aulis  impias  portu  rates, 
sic  auspicatus  bella  non  melius  gerit. 
amore  captae  captus,  immotus  prece 

16 


AGAMEMNON 

NURSE 

But  let  the  hallowed  name  of  wedlock  turn  thee 
back. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

For  ten  years  widowed,  shall  I  still  think  on 
husband  ? 

NURSE 

Thine  offspring  of  him  thou  shouldst  remember. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

I  do  remember  my  daughter's  l  wedding  fires,  my 
son-in-law,  Achilles  ;  true  faith  he2  showed  a  mother  ! 

NURSE 

She  freed  our  becalmed  fleet  from  delay,  and 
roused  the  sluggish  sea  from  its  deep  repose. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Oh,  shame  !  oh,  anguish  !  I,  child  of  Tyndarus,  of 
heavenly  lineage,  have  borne  a  sacrifice  for  the 
Grecian  fleet !  Once  more  in  memory  I  see  my 
daughter's  wedding  rites,  which  he  made  worthy  of 
Pelops'  house,  when,  with  prayer  on  lip,  the  father 
stood  before  the  altars,  how  fit  for  nuptials  !  Calchas 
shuddered  at  his  own  oracles  and  at  the  recoiling 
altar-fires.  O  house  that  ever  o'ertops  crime  with 
crime  !  With  blood  we  purchased  winds,  and  war  with 
murder !  But,  say  you,  by  this  means  a  thousand 
ships  spread  sail  together  ?  'Twas  by  no  favouring 
god  the  fleet  was  freed;  no!  Aulis  from  port  drave 
forth  the  impious  ships.  Thus  beginning,  not  more 
happily  did  he  wage  the  war.  With  love  of  a  captive 

1  Iphigenia.  z  i.e.  Agamemnon. 

17 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

Zminthea  tenuit  spolia  Phoebei  senis, 

ardore  sacrae  virgin  is  iam  turn  furens. 

non  ilium  Achilles  flexit  indomitus  minis, 

non  ille  solus  fata  qui  mundi  videt, 

(in  nos  fidelis  augur,  in  captas  levis),  180 

non  populus  aeger  et  relucentes  rogi. 

inter  ruentis  Graeciae  stragem  ultimam 

sine  hoste  victus  marcet  ac  Veneri  vacat 

reparatque  amores  ;  neve  desertus  foret 

a  paelice  umquani  barbara  caelebs  torus, 

ablatam  Achilli  diligit  Lyrnesida, 

nee  rapere  puduit  e  sinu  avulsam  viri — 

en  Paridis  hostein  !     nunc  novum  vulnus  gerens 

amore  Phrygiae  vatis  incensus  furit, 

et  post  tropaea  Troica  ac  versum  Ilium  190 

captae  maritus  remeat  et  Priami  gener  ! 

Accingere,  anime  ;  bella  non  levia  apparas. 
scelus  occupandum  est.    pigra,  quem  expectas  diem  ? 
Pelopia  Phrygiae  sceptra  dum  teneant  nurus  ? 
an  te  morantur  virgines  viduae  domi 
patrique  Orestes  similis  ?     horum  te  mala 
ventura  moveant,  turbo  quis  rerum  imminet. 
quid,  misera,  cessas  ?     en  adest  natis  tuis 
furens  noverca.     per  tuum,  si  aliter  nequit, 
latus  exigatur  ensis  et  perimat  duos.  200 

misce  cruorem,  perde  pereundo  virum  ; 

mors  misera  non  est  common  cum  quo  velis. 

. 

^Chryses,  father  of  Chrysels. 

2  Cassandra,  his  second  infatuation.         8  Calchas. 

4  i.e.  Agamemnon  believed  him  when  he  demanded  the 
death  of  Iphigenia,  but  not  when  he  required  the  return  of 
Brisei's. 

18 


AGAMEMNON 

smitten,  unmoved  by  prayer,  he  held  as  spoil  the 
child  of  Smynthean  Apollo's  aged  priest,1  then  as 
now  mad  with  passion  for  a  sacred  maid.2  Neither 
Achilles,  unmoved  by  threats,  could  bend  him,  nor 
he  3  who  alone  sees  the  secrets  of  the  universe,  (for 
me  and  mine  sure  seer,  for  slave-girls  of  no  weight),4 
nor  the  plague-smit  people,  nor  the  blazing  pyres. 
Midst  the  death-struggle  of  falling  Greece,  conquered, 
but  by  no  foe,  he  languishes,  has  leisure  for  love, 
seeks  new  amours ;  and,  lest  his  widowed  couch  ever 
be  free  from  some  barbaric  mistress,  he  lusted  for  the 
Lyrnesian  maid,5  Achilles'  spoil,  nor  blushed  to  bear 
her  away,  torn  from  her  lord's  embrace — he,  the 
enemy  of  Paris !  Now,  wounded  afresh,  he  rages 
with  passion  for  the  inspired  Phrygian  maid ; 6  and 
after  Troy's  conquest,  after  Ilium's  overthrow,  he 
comes  back  home,  a  captive's  husband  and  Priam's 
son-in-law ! 

193  Now  gird  thee  up,  my  soul ;  no  trivial  strife  art 
thou  preparing.  Crime  must  be  forestalled.7  Slug- 
gish, what  day  dost  thou  await?  Till  Phrygian 
wives  shall  wield  our  Pelops'  sceptre  ?  Do  the  virgin 
daughters  of  thy  house  and  Orestes,  image  of  his 
father,  hold  thee  back  ?  Nay,  'tis  the  ills  that 
that  threaten  them  that  should  urge  thee  on  ;  o'er 
them  a  storm  of  woes  hangs  lowering.  Why,  wretched 
woman,  dost  thou  hesitate  ?  For  thy  children  a  mad 
step-dame  is  at  hand.  Through  thine  own  side,  if 
not  otherwise  it  can  be  done,  let  the  sword  be  driven, 
and  so  slay  two.  Mingle  thy  blood  with  his,  in  thy 
death  destroy  thy  husband  ;  death  hath  no  pang  when 
shared  with  whom  thou  wouldest. 

6  BriseTs.  6  Cassandra. 

7  i.e.  I  must  take  revenge  on  Agamemnon  before  he  does 
the  like  to  me. 

19 


THE    TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

NVTRIX 

Regina,  frena  temet  et  siste  impetus 
et  quanta  temptes  cogita  ;  victor  venit 
Asiae  ferocis,  ultor  Europae,  trahit 
^aptiva  Pergama  et  diu  victos  Phrygas. 
hunc  fraude  nunc  conaris  et  furto  aggredi, 
quern  non  Achilles  ense  violavit  fero, 
quamvis  procacem  torvus  armasset  manuin, 
non  melior  Aiax  morte  decreta  furens,  210 

non  sola  Danais  Hector  et  bello  mora, 
non  tela  Paridis  certa,  non  Memnon  niger, 
non  Xanthus  armis  corpora  immixtis  gerens 
fluctusque  Simois  caede  purpureos  agens, 
non  nivea  proles  Cycnus  aequorei  dei, 
non  bellicoso  Thressa  cum  Rheso  phalanx, 
non  picta  pharetras  et  securigera  manu 
peltata  Amazon  ?     hunc  domi  reducem  paras 
mactare  et  aras  caede  maculare  impia  ? 
victrix  inultum  Graecia  hoc  facinus  feret  ?  220 

equos  et  arma  classibusque  horrens  fretuni 
propone  et  alto  sanguine  exundans  solum 
et  tota  captae  fata  Dardaniae  domus 
regesta  Danais.     coinprime  adfectus  truces 
mentemque  tibimet  ipsa  pacifica  tuam. 


AEO1STHVS 

Quod  tempus  animo  semper  ac  mente  horrui 
adest  profecto,  rebus  extremum  meis. 

1  i.e.  Ajax  son  of  Telanion  in  contradistinction  to  Ajax  the 
son  of  Oileus,  called  Ajax  "  the  Less." 


AGAMEMNON 

NURSE 

O  Queen,  restrain  thyself,  check  thine  impetuous 
wrath  and  think  what  thou  art  daring  ;  the  conqueror 
of  wild  Asia  is  at  hand,  Europe's  avenger,  dragging 
in  triumph  captive  Pergama  and  the  Phrygians,  long 
since  subdued.  Against  him  now  with  guile  and 
stealth  dost  thou  essay  to  fight,  whom  Achilles  with 
his  savage  sword  hurt  not,  though  in  grim  wrath  he 
armed  his  insolent  hand,  nor  the  better  Ajax  l  raging 
and  bent  on  death,  nor  Hector,  sole  bulwark  against 
the  warring  Greeks,  nor  the  sure-aimed  shafts  of 
Paris,  nor  swarthy  Memnon,  nor  Xanthus,  rolling 
down  corpses  and  arms  commingled,  nor  Simois,  its 
waves  running  red  with  blood,  nor  Cycnus,  snowy  2 
offspring  of  the  Ocean-god,  nor  warlike  Rhesus  and 
his  Thracian  horde,  nor  the  Amazon,  with  her  painted 
quiver,  battle-axe  in  hand,  and  crescent  shield  ? 
Him,  home-returning,  dost  thou  prepare  to  slay  and 
to  defile  thine  altars  with  slaughter  impious  ?  Will 
victorious  Greece  leave  such  a  deed  unavenged? 
Horses  and  arms,  the  sea  studded  with  ships,  set 
these  before  thine  eyes,  the  ground  flowing  with 
streams  of  blood,  and  the  whole  fate  of  the  captured 
house  of  Dardanus  turned  'gainst  the  Greeks.3 
Control  thy  fierce  passions,  and  do  thou  thyself  set 
thine  own  soul  at  peace.  [Exit. 

[Enter  AEGISTHUS.] 

AEGISTHUS  [in  soliloquy] 

The   hour  which   always  in  my  heart  and   soul   I 
dreaded  is  here  indeed,  the  hour  of  fate   for  me. 

'2  He  was  changed  into  a  snow-white  swan. 
3  i.e.  Agamemnon's  death  will  be  as  terribly  avenged  as 
was  the  injury  to  Helen. 

21 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quid  terga  vertis,  anime  ?     quid  primo  impetu 

deponis  arma  ?     crede  perniciem  tibi 

et  dira  saevos  fata  moliri  deos.  230 

oppone  cunctis  vile  suppliciis  caput, 

ferrumque  et  ignes  pectore  adverse  excipe, 

Aegisthe  ;  non  est  poena  sic  nato  mori. 

Tu  nos  pericli  socia,  tu,  Leda  sata, 
comitare  tantum  ;  sanguinern  reddet  tibi 
ignavus  iste  ductor  ac  fortis  pater, 
sed  quid  trementes  circuit  pallor  genas 
iacensque  vultu  languido  optutus  stupet  ? 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Amor  iugalis  vincit  ac  flectit  retro  : 
referamur1  illuc,  unde  non  decuit  prius  240 

abire  ;  vel  2  nunc  casta  repetatur  fides, 
nam  sera  numquam  est  ad  bonos  mores  via : 
quern  paenitet  peccasse  paene  est  innocens. 

AEGISTHVS 

Quo  raperis  amens  ?     credis  aut  speras  tibi 
Agamemnonis  fidele  coniugium  ?     ut  nihil 
subesset  animo  quod  graves  faceret  metus, 
tamen  superba  et  impotens  flatu  nimis 
Fortuna  magno  spiritus  tumidos  daret. 
gravis  ille  sociis  stante  adhuc  Troia  fuit ; 
quid  rere  ad  animum  suapte  natura  trucem  250 

I'roiam  addidisse  ?     rex  Mycenarum  fuit, 
veniet  tyrannus  ;  prospera  animos  efferunt.8 
effusa  circa  paelicum  quanto  venit 

1  referemus   E:    Leo  referemur :     Gronovius,  followed   by 
Richter,  referamur:  remeemus  A. 

2  So  Peiper,  following  Gronovius :  Leo  with  AfSS.  sed. 

3  So  the  A1SS.  :  Leo,  following  Buecheler,  eflerant 

•£2 


AGAMEMNON 

Why,  soul,  dost  fear  to  face  it  ?  Why  at  the  first 
onslaught  dost  lay  down  thy  arms  ?  Be  sure  that  for 
thee  destruction  and  dread  doom  the  pitiless  gods 
prepare.  Then  set  thy  vile  life  to  face  all  punish- 
ments, and  with  confronting  breast  welcome  both 
sword  and  flame,  Aegisthus  ;  for  one  so  born,  'tis  no 
penalty  to  die. 

[To  CLYTEMNESTRA] 

234  Thou  partner  of  my  peril,  thou,  Leda's  daughter, 
be  but  my  comrade  still  ;  then  blood  for  blood  shall 
he  repay  to  thee,  this  cowardly  warrior  and  valiant 
sire.  But  why  does  pallor  o'erspread  thy  ^trembling 
cheeks,  and  why  in  thy  listless  face  is  thine  eye  so 
dull  and  drooping  ? 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Love  for  my  husband  conquers  and  turns  me  back. 
Return  we  thither  whence  'twere  well  never  to  have 
come  away.  E'en  now  let  us  reseek  purity  and 
truth,  for  never  too  late  is  trod  the  path  to  honesty ; 
whoso  repents  his  sin  is  well-nigh  innocent. 

AEGISTHUS 

Whither  art  borne,  mad  one  ?  Dost  believe  or  hope 
that  Agamemnon  is  still  true  to  his  marriage  vows  ? 
Though  there  were  nought  in  thine  own  heart  to 
rouse  grave  fears,  still  would  his  arrogant,  immoderate, 
o'er-inflated  fortune  swell  his  pride.  Harsh  to  his  allies 
was  he  while  Troy  still  stood ;  what  thinkest  thou 
Troy  x  has  added  to  a  spirit  by  its  own  nature  fierce  ? 
Mycenae's  king  he  was ;  he  will  come  back  her 
tyrant ; — prosperity  urges  pride  beyond  itself.  With 
what  magnificence  the  surging  throng  of-  harlots 

1  i.e.  the  fall  of  Troy. 

23 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

turba  apparatu  !     sola  sed  turba  eminet 
tenetque  regem  famula  veridici  del. 
feresne  thalami  victa  consortem  tui  ? 
at  ilia  nolet.     ultimum«est  nuptae  malum 
palam  mariti  possidens  paelex  domum. 
nee  regna  socium  ferre  nee  taedae  sciunt. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Aegisthe,  quid  me  rursus  in  praeceps  agis          260 
iramque  flammis  iam  residentem  incitas  ? 
permisit  aliquid  victor  in  captam  sibi  ; 
nee  coniugem  hoc  respicere  nee  dominam  decet. 
lex  alia  solio  est,  alia  privato  in  toro. 
quid  quod  severas  ferre  me  leges  viro 
non  patitur  animus  turpis  admissi  memor  ? 
det  ille  veniam  facile  cui  venia  est  opus. 

AEGISTHVS 

Ita  est  ?     pacisci  mutuam  veniam  licet? 
ignota  tibi  sunt  iura  regnorum  aut  nova  ? 
nobis  maligni  iudices,  aequi  sibi  270 

id  esse  regni  maximum  pignus  putant, 
si  quidquid  aliis  non  licet  solis  licet. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Ignovit  Helenae  ;  iuncta  Menelao  redit 
quae  Europam  et  Asiam  paribus  afflixit  malis. 

AEGISTHVS 

Sed  nulla  Atriden  Venere  furtiva  abstulit 
nee  cepit  animum  coniugi  obstrictum  suae. 

24 


AGAiMEMNON 

comes !  But-one  stands  out  among  the  throng  and 
holds  the  king  in  thrall,  the  handmaid  l  of  the  fate- 
revealing  god.2  Wilt  thou  give  up  and  endure  a 
sharer  in  thy  marriage  bed  ?  But  she  will  not.  A 
wife's  utmost  of  woe  is  a  mistress  openly  queening 
it  in  her  husband's  house.  Nor  throne  nor  bed  can 
brook  a  partnership. 

CLY3TEMNESTRA 

Aegisthus,  why  dost  thou  again  drive  me  headlong, 
and  fan  to  flame  my  wrath  already  cooling  ?  Suppose 
the  victor  has  allowed  himself  ,some  liberty  toward  a 
captive  maid  ;  'tis  meet  neither*  for  wife  nor  mistress 
to  take  iiote.of  this.  There  is  one  law  for  thrones, 
one  for  the  private  bed.  What  ?  Does  my  own 
heart,  itself  conscious  of  base  guilt,  suffer  me  to  pass 
harsh  judgment  on  my  husband?  Let  her  forgive 
freely  who  forgiveness  needs. 

AEGISTHUS 

Sayst  thou  so  ?  Canst  bargain  for  mutual  forgive- 
ness? Are  the  rights  of  kings  unknown  to  thee  or 
strange  ?  To  us  harsh  judges,  partial  to  themselves, 
they  deem  this  the  greatest  pledge  of  kingship,  if 
whate'er  to  others  is  unlawful  is  lawful  to  them 
alone. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

He  pardoned  Helen;  joined  to  her  Menelaiis  she 
returns,  who  Europe  and  Asia  to  like  ruin  dashed. 

AEGISTHUS 

Aye,  but  no  woman  with  stealthy  love  has  stolen 
Atrides  and  captured  his  heart  close-barred  against 
1  Cassandra.  *  Apollo. 

25 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

iam  crimen  ille  quaerit  et  causas  parat. 

nil  esse  crede  turpe  commissum  tibi ; 

quid  honesta  prodest  vita,  flagitio  vacans  ? 

ubi  dominus  odit  fit  nocens,  non  quaeritur.  280 

Spartamne  repetes  spreta  et  Eurotan  tuum 

patriasque  sedes  profuga  ?     non  dant  exitum 

repudia  regum.     spe  metus  falsa  levas. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Delicta  novit  nemo  nisi  fidus  mea. 

AEGISTHVS 

Non  intrat  umquam  regium  limen  fides. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Opibus  merebor,  ut  fidem  pretio  obligem. 

AEGISTHVS 

Pretio  parata  vincitur  pretio  fides. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Surgit  residuus  pristinae  mentis  pudor  , 
quid  obstrepis  ?     quid  voce  blandiloqua  mala 
consilia  dictas  ?     scilicet  iiubet  tibi,  290 

regum  relicto  rege,  generosa  exuli  ? 

AEGISTHVS 

Et  cur  Atrida  videor  inferior  tibi, 
natus  Thyestae  ? 

26 


AGAMEMNON 

his  wife.1  Already  thy  lord  seeks  charge  against 
thee,  intends  cause  of  strife.  Suppose  no  baseness 
has  been  done  by  thee  ;  what  boots  an  honest  life 
and  sinless?  Whom  a  master  hates  is  condemned  of 
guilt  unheard.  Spurned  away,  wilt  thou  go  back  to 
Sparta  and  thy  Eurotas,  wilt  flee  to  thy  father's 
house  ?  The  rejected  of  kings  have  no  escape.  With 
false  hope  dost  thou  relieve  thy  fears. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

None  knows  my  guilt  save  one  faithful  friend. 

AEGISTHUS 

Faith  never  crosses  the  threshold  of  a  king. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

With  wealth  will  I  purchase,  with  bribes  will  I 
bind  faith. 

AEGISTHUS 

Faith  gained  by  bribes  is  overcome  by  bribes. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

The  remnant  of  my  old  time  chastity  revives ;  why 
dost  thou  cry  against  it  ?  Why  with  cozening  words 
dost  give  me  evil  counsel  ?  Deserting  the  king  of 
kings,  shall  I  wed  with  thee,  a  high-born  woman 
with  an  outcast  ? 

AEGISTHUS 

And  wherefore  less  than  Atreus'  son  do  I  seem  to 
thee,  who  am  Thyestes'  son  ? 

1  i.e.  in  Menelaiis'  case  his  heart  was  not  already  hardened 
against  his  wife  by  another  mistress,  as  is  the  case  with 
Agamemnon. 

27 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Si  parum  est,  adde  et  nepos. 

AEGISTHVS 

Auctore  Phoebo  gignor  ;  baud  generis  pudet. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Phoebum  nefandae  stirpis  auctorem  vocas, 
quern  nocte  subita  frena  revocantem  sua 
caelo  expulistis  ?     quid  deos  probro  addimus  ? 
subripere  doctus  fraude  geniales  toros, 
quern  Venere  tantum  scimus  inlicita  virum, 
facesse  propere  ac  dedecus  nostrae  domus  300 

asporta  ab  oculis  ;  haec  vacat  regi  ac  viro. 

AEGISTHVS 

Exilia  mihi  sunt  baud  nova,  assuevi  malis. 
si  tu  imperas,  regina,  non  tantum  domo 
Argisve  cedo  :  nil  moror  iussu  tuo 
aperire  ferro  pectus  aerumnis  grave. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Siquidem  hoc  cruenta  Tyndaris  fieri  sinam. 
quae  iuncta  peccat  debet  et  culpae  fidem. 
secede  mecum  potius,  ut  rerum  statum 
dubium  ac  minacem  iuncta  consilia  explicent. 

CHORVS 

Canite,  o  pubes  inclita,  Pboebum  1  310 

tibi  festa  caput 
turba  coronat,  tibi  virgineas, 

laurum  quatiens, 

28 


AGAMEMNON 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

If  that  is  not  enough,  say  grandson,  too. 

AEGISTHUS 

Phoebus  was  the  source  of  my  begetting ;  mv 
birth  shames  me  not. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Dost  thou  name  Phoebus  as  source  of  an  inces- 
tuous birth,  whom,  calling  back  his  steeds  in  sudden 
night,  you  l  drove  from  heaven  ?  Why  besmirch  the 
gods  ?  Thou,  trained  by  guile  to  steal  the  marriage 
bed,  whom  we  know  only  as  man  of  unlawful  love, 
depart  at  once,  take  from  my  sight  the  infamy  of 
our  house  ;  this  home  is  waiting  for  its  king  and  lord. 

AEGISTHUS 

Exile  is  not  new  to  me ;  I  am  used  to  woe.  If 
thou  commandest,  O  queen,  not  alone  from  home 
and  Argos  do  I  flee:  I  am  ready  at  thy  bidding  to 
plunge  sword  into  my  heart,  o'erweighed  with  grief. 

CLYTEMNESTRA    [aside] 

Yet,  should  I,  cruel  daughter  of  Tyndareus,  let 
this  be  done. 

[To  AEGISTHUS.] 

Who  jointly  sins  owes  also  faith  to  crime.  Come 
thou  with  me,  that  the  dark  and  threatening  state 

*  O 

of  our  affairs  joint  plans  may  set  in  order.        [Exeunt. 

CHORUS 

Sing  ye,  O  maids  renowned,  of  Phoebus  !  To  thee, 
Phoebus,  the  festal  throng  wreaths  the  head,  to  thee, 
waving  laurel-bough,  the  Argive  maid  in  wonted 

1  i.e.  your  house.     At  the  horrid  feast  of  Thyestes  the  sun 
veiled  his  face  in  darkness  that  he  might  not  see. 

29 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

de  more  comas  innuba  fudit 

stirps  Inachia  ;  315 

quaeque  Erasini  gelidos  fontes,  318 

quaeque  Eurotan, 
quaeque  virenti  taciturn  ripa  320 

bibis  Ismenon  ; 
tu  quoque  nostros,  Thebais  hospes,  316 

comitare  choros,1  317 

quam  fatorum  praescia  Manto,  322 

sata  Tiresia, 
Latonigenas  monuit  sacris 

celebrare  deos. 
Arcus,  victor,  pace  relata, 

Phoebe,  relaxa 
umeroque  graves  levibus  telis 

pone  pharetras 
resonetque  manu  pulsa  citata  330 

vocale  chelys. 
nil  acre  velim  magnumque  modis 

intonet  altis, 
sed  quale  soles  leviore  lyra 

flectere  carmen 
simplex,  lusus  cum  docta  tuos 

Musa  recenset. 
licet  et  chorda  graviore  sones, 

q u ale  canebas 
cum  Titanas  fulrnine  victos  3  K) 

videre  del, 
vel  cum  montes  montibus  altis 

super  impositi 
struxere  gradus  trucibus  monstris, 

stetit  imposita 
Pelion  Ossa,  pinifer  ambos 

pressit  Olympus. 

1  Lines  316,  317  were  transposed  by  Bothe. 
30 


AGAMEMNON 

fashion  spreads  forth  her  virgin  locks ;  and  thou  who 

drinkest  of  Erasmus'  cool  waters,  who  of  Eurotas, 
and  who  of  Ismenus  drinkest,  silently  flowing  along 
its  green  banks ;  thou,  too,  though  stranger  in 
Thebes,  come  join  in  our  chorus,  whom  Manto, 
reader  of  fate,  Tiresias'  daughter,  warned  with  due 
rites  to  worship  the  gods,  offspring  of  Latona. 

326  Thy  bow,  now  peace  lias  come  back,  all-con- 
quering Phoebus,  loose,  and  thy  quiver,  full  of  swift 
arrows,  lay  down  from  thy  shoulder  and  let  resound, 
smit  by  thy  flying  fingers,  the  tuneful  lyre.  No 
stern,  high  strains  in  lofty  measures  would  I  have  it 
sound,  but  such  simple  song  as  'tis  thy  wont  to 
modulate  on  lighter  shell,  when  the  learned  Muse 
surveys  thy  sports.  'Tis  thy  right,  too,  on  heavier 
strings  to  sound  such  strain  as  thou  sangest  when 
gods  saw  Titans  by  thunder  overcome,  even  when 
mountains,  on  lofty  mountains  set,  furnished  pathway 
for  grim  monsters,  when  Pelion  stood  on  Ossa  set 
beneath,  and  cloud-capped  Olympus  weighed  on 
both. 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

Ades,  o  magni,  soror  et  coniunx, 

censors  sceptri, 
regia  luno  !      tua  te  colimus  350 

turba  Mycenae, 
tu  sollicitum  supplexque  tui 

numinis  Argos 
sola  tueris,  tu  bella  inanu 

pacemque  regis. 
tu  nunc  laurus  Agamemnonias 

accipe  victrix. 
tibi  multifora  tibia  buxo 

solemne  canit, 
tibi  fila  movent  docta  puellae  360 

carmine  molli, 
tibi  votivam  matres  Graiae 

lampada  iactant, 
ad  tua  coniunx  Candida  tauri 

delubra  cadet, 
nescia  aratri,  nullo  collum 

signata  iugo. 
Tuque,  o  magni  nata  Tonantis, 

incluta  Pallas, 
quae  Dardanias  cuspide  turres  370 

saepe  petisti, 
te  permixto  matrona  minor 

maiorque  choro 
colit  et  reserat  veniente  dea 

templa  sacerdos. 
tibi  nexilibus  turba  coronis 

redimita  venit, 
tibi  grandaevi  lassique  senes 

compote  voto 
reddunt  grates  libantque  manu  380 

vina  trementi. 
Et  te  Triviam  nota  memores 

voce  precamur  : 

32 


AGAMEMNON 

348  Thou,  too,  be  near,  who  as  wife  and  sister 
sharest  the  sceptre's  might,  Juno  the  royal  !  We, 
thy  chosen  band,  in  Mycenae  adore  thee.  Thou  art 
the  sole  protector  of  Argos  that  calls  on  thee  with 
anxious  prayers  ;  thou  in  thy  hand  holdest  war  and 
peace.  Accept  now  the  laurels  of  Agamemnon, 
victorious  goddess.  To  thee  the  box-wood  flute  of 
many  openings  soundeth  its  solemn  strains  ;  to  thee 
skilled  maidens  touch  the  strings  in  soothing  melody  ; 
to  thee  Grecian  mothers  wave  the  votive  torch  ;  at 
thy  shrines  shall  fall  the  bull's  white  mate,  which 
knows  not  the  plough,  whose  neck  the  yoke  ne'er 
scarred. 

868  And  thou,  child  of  the  great  Thunderer,  glorious 
Pallas,  who  oft  with  thy  spear  didst  attack  the 
Dardanian  towers,  to  thee  in  mingled  chorus  mothers, 
younger  and  older,  kneel,  and  at  thy  coming  the 
priest  throws  wide  the  doors  of  the  temple.  To  thee 
the  throng,  crowned  with  woven  wreaths,  advances  ; 
to  thee  aged  and  spent  old  men,  their  petitions 
heard,  give  thanks  and  with  trembling  hand  pour 
wine  in  libation. 

382  Thee,  too,  O  Trivia,1  with  mindful  hearts  and 
prayer  familiar  we  adore.  Thou  biddest  thy  natal 

1  i.e.  Diana. 

S3 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

tu  maternam  sistere  Delon, 

Lucina,  iubes, 
hue  atque  illuc  prius  errantem 

Cyclada  ventis  : 
nunc  iam  stabilis  fixa  terras 

radice  tenet, 
respuit  auras  religatque  rates  390 

assueta  sequi. 
tu  Tantalidos  funera  matris 

victrix  numeras  ; 
stat  nunc  Sipyli  vertice  summo 

flebile  saxum, 
et  adhuc  lacrimas  marmora  fundunt 

antiqua  novas, 
colit  impense  femina  virque 


numen  geminum. 


Tuque  ante  omnes,  pater  ac  rector       400 

fu Imine  pollens, 
cuius  nutu  simul  extremi 

tremuere  poll, 
generis  nostri,  luppiter,  auctor, 

cape  dona  libens 
abavusque  tuam  non  degenerein 

respice  prolem. 

Sed  ecce,  vasto  concitus  miles  gradu 
manifesta  properat  signa  laetitiae  ferens 
(namque  hasta  summo  lauream  ferro  gerit)  410 

fidusque  regi  semper  Eurybates  adest. 

EVRY BATES 

Delubra  et  aras  caelitum  et  patrios  lares          392ai 
post  longa  fessus  spatia,  vix  credens  mihi, 

1  Leo  in  line  notation  has  followed  Gronovius  except  in  the 
chorus  just  ended,  which  Gronovius,  with  E,  prints  in  dimeters, 

34 


AGAMEMNON 

Delos  to  stand  firm,  Lucina,1  erstwhile  a  Cyclad, 
drifting  hither  and  yon  at  the  will  of  the  winds  ;  now 
'tis  a  stable  land  with  root  firm  fixed,  repels  the 
winds  and  gives  anchorage  for  ships,  though  wont  to 
follow  them.  Victorious,  thou  countest  o'er  the 
corpses  that  their  mother,2  child  of  Tantalus,  be- 
moaned ;  now  on  Sipylus'  high  top  she  stands,  a 
weeping  statue,  and  to  this  day  fresh  tears  the 
ancient  marble  drips.  Zealously  both  maid  and  man 
adore  the  twin  divinities.3 

400  And  thou  before  all  others,  father  and  ruler, 
god  of  the  thunder,  by  whose  mere  nod  the  farthest 
poles  do  tremble,  O  Jove,  thou  author  of  our  race, 
kindly  accept  our  gifts,  and  with  a  father's  care  take 
thought  for  thine  own  true  progeny. 

406  But  lo,  a  soldier,  hurrying  with  huge  steps, 
hastes  hither  with  signs  of  joyful  tidings  clearly 
visible,  (for  his  spear  bears  a  laurel  wreath  on  its  iron 
tip,)  and  Eurybates,  the  ever  faithful  servant  of  the 
king,  is  here. 

[Enter  EURYBATES  with  laurel-wreathed  spear.] 

EUR Y BATES 

Ye  shrines  and  altars  of  the  heavenly  gods,  ye 
household  deities  of  my  fathers,  after  long  wanderings 
wearied,  and  scarce  trusting  mine  own  eyes,  I  humbly 

1  Diana.        2  Niobe.       8  i.e.  Phoebus  and  Phoebe  (Diana). 


while  A  alternates  dimeters  with  manometers.  Leo  follows  A, 
and  adopts  the  notation  392a-4K/a,  "  in  order  not  to  break  with 
Gronovius  throughout  the  remainder  of  the  play." 

S5 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

supplex  adoro.     vota  superis  solvite  ; 
telluris  altum  remeat  Argolicae  decus 
tandem  ad  penates  victor  Agamemnon  suos. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Felix  ad  aures  nuntius  venit  meas  ! 
ubinam  petitus  per  decem  coniunx  mihi 
annos  moratur  ?     pelagus  an  terras  premit  ? 

EVRYBATES 

Incolumis,  auctus  gloria,  laude  inclitus  400a 

reducem  expetito  litori  impressit  pedem. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Sacris  colamus  prosperum  tandem  diem 
et  si  propitios  attamen  lentos  deos. 
tu  pande  vivat  coniugis  frater  mei 
et  pande  teneat  quas  soror  sedes  mea. 

EVRYBATES 

Meliora  votis  posco  et  obtestor  deos  ; 
nam  certa  fari  sors  maris  dubii  vetat. 
ut  sparsa  tumidum  classis  excepit  mare, 
ratis  videre  socia  non  potuit  ratem. 
quin  ipse  Atrides  aequore  immenso  vagus  410a 

graviora  pelago  damna  quam  bello  tulit 
remeatque  victo  similis,  exiguas  trahens 
lacerasque  victor  classe  de  tanta  rates. 

36 


AGAMEMNON 

give  reverence.  \To  the  people.]  Pay  now  your  vows 
to  the  high  gods ;  the  pride  and  glory  of  the  Argive 
land  returns  to  his  own  house  at  last,  Agamemnon, 
victorious ! 

[Enter  CLYTEMNESTRA  in  time  to  hear  the  herald's  con- 
cluding words] 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Blessed  news  this  that  falls  upon  mine  ears !  But 
where  delays  my  husband  whom  I  have  sought 
through  ten  long  years  ?  Rests  he  on  sea,  or  land  ? 

EUPYBATES 

Unharmed,  increased  in  glory,  illustrious  with 
praise,  he  hath  set  homeward  foot  upon  the  longed- 
for  shore. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

With  sacred  rites  let  us  hail  the  day,  fortunate  at 
last,  and  the  gods,  even  if  propitious,  yet  slow  in 
granting  our  request.  But  tell  me,  thou,  does  my 
husband's  brother  live,  and  where  is  my  sister,1  tell. 

EURYBATES 

Better  than  our  hopes  I  pray  and  beseech  the 
gods ;  for  the  sea's  dubious  lot  forbids  to  speak 
certainty.  When  our  scattered  fleet  met  swollen 
seas,  one  ship  could  scarce  descry  her  sister  ship. 
Nay,  e'en  Atrides'  self,  on  the  boundless  ocean  wan- 
dering, endured  losses  heavier  by  sea  than  war,  and 
like  a  vanquished  man,  though  victor,  he  returns, 
bringing  but  few  and  shattered  vessels  from  his 

mighty  fleet. 

1  Helen. 

37 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Eflfare  casus  quis  rates  hausit  meas 
aut  quae  rnaris  fortuna  dispulerit  duces. 


EVRYBATES 


Acerba  fatu  poscis,  infaustum  iubes 
miscere  laeto  nuntium.  refugit  loqui 
mens  aegra  tantis  atque  inhorrescit  mails. 


CLYTAEMNESTRA 


Exprome  ;  clades  scire  qui  refugit  suas 
gravat  timorem  ;  dubia  plus  torquent  mala.  420 


EVRYBATES 

Vt  Pergamum  omne  Dorica  cecidit  face, 
divisa  praeda  est,  maria  properantes  petunt. 
iamque  ense  fessum  miles  exonerat  latus, 
neglecta  summas  scuta  per  puppes  iacent ; 
ad  militares  remus  aptatur  manus 
omnisque  nimium  longa  properanti  mora  est 
signum  recursus  regia  ut  fulsit  rate 
et  clara  laetum  remigem  monuit  tuba, 
aurata  primas  prora  designat  vias 
aperitque  cursus,  mille  quos  puppes  secent.  430 

Hinc  aura  primo  lenis  impellit  rates 
adlapsa  velis  ;   unda  vix  actu  levi 
tranquilla  Zephyri  mollis  atflatu  tremit, 
s})lendetque  classe  pelagus  et  pariter  latet. 
iuvat  videre  nuda  Troiae  litora, 
iuvat  relicti  sola  Sigei  loca. 
properat  iuventus  omnis  adductos  simul 

38 


AGAMEMNON 


CLYTEMNESTRA 


Tell  what  calamity  has  swallowed  up  my  ships, 
or  what  mishap  by  sea  has  dispersed  the  chiefs. 

EURYBATES 

A  tale  bitter  in  the  telling  thou  demandest;  thou 
biddest  me  mix  the  unlucky  message  with  the  glad. 
My  sick  mind  shrinks  from  speech  and  shudders  at 
the  thought  of  such  disasters. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Tell  on ;  who  shrinks  from  knowledge  of  his 
calamities  but  aggravates  his  fear;  troubles  half 
seen  do  torture  all  the  more. 

EURYBATES 

When  all  Pergamum  fell  'neath  the  Doric  fire,  the 
spoil  was  divided  and  in  eager  haste  all  sought  the 
sea.  And  now  the  warrior  eases  his  side  of  the 
sword's  weary  load,  and  unheeded  lie  the  shields 
along  the  high  sterns  ;  the  oar  is  fitted  to  the  warrior's 
hands,  and  to  their  eager  haste  all  tarrying  seems 
over  long.  Then,  when  the  signal  for  return  gleamed 
on  the  royal  ship,  and  the  loud  trumpet-blast  warned 
the  glad  rowers,  the  king's  gilded  prow,  leading, 
marked  out  the  way,  and  opened  up  the  course  for  a 
thousand  ships  to  follow. 

431  A  gentle  breeze  at  first  steals  into  our  sails  and 
drives  our  vessels  onward  ;  the  tranquil  waves,  scarce 
stirring,  ripple  beneath  soft  Zephyr's  breathing,  and 
the  sea  reflects  the  splendour  of  the  fleet,  hiding  the 
while  beneath  it.  'Tis  sweet  to  gaze  on  the  bare 
shores  of  Troy,  sweet  to  behold  deserted  Sigeum's 
wastes.  The  young  men  all  haste  to  bend  the  oars, 

39 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

lentare  remos,  adiuvat  ventos  manu 

et  valida  nisu  bracchia  alterno  movet. 

sulcata  vibrant  aequora  et  latera  increpant  440 

dirimuntque  canae  caerulum  spumae  mare. 

ut  aura  plenos  fortior  tendit  sinus, 

posuere  tonsas,  credita  est  vento  ratis 

fususque  transtris  miles  aut  terras  procul, 

quantum  recedunt  vela,  fugientes  notat, 

aut  bella  narrat :   Hectoris  fortis  minas 

currusque  et  empto  redditum  corpus  rogo, 

sparsum  cruore  regis  Herceum  lovem. 

tune  qui  iacente  reciprocus  ludit  salo 

tumidumque  pando  transilit  dorso  mare  450 

Tyrrhenus  omni  piscis  exultat  freto 

agitatque  gyros  et  comes  lateri  adnatat, 

anteire  naves  laetus  et  rursus  sequi  ; 

nunc  prima  tangens  rostra  lascivit  chorus, 

millesimam  nunc  ambit  et  lustrat  ratem. 

lam  litus  omne  tegitur  et  campi  latent 
et  dubia  parent  montis  Idaei  iuga  ; 
et  iam,  quod  unum  pervicax  acies  videt, 
Iliacus  atra  fumus  apparet  nota. 

iam  lassa  Titan  colla  relevabat  iugo,  460 

in  astra  iam  lux  prona,  iam  praeceps  dies, 
exigua  nubes  sordido  crescens  globo 
nitidum  cadentis  inquinat  Phoebi  iubar ; 
suspecta  varius  occidens  fecit  freta. 

Nox  prima  caelum  sparserat  stellis,  iacent 
deserta  vento  vela,     turn  murmur  grave, 
maiora  minitans,  collibus  summis  cadit 

1  i.e.  of  Achilles,  by  which  Hector's  body  was  dragged. 

2  Priam    was   slain   at    the   altar   of    Hercean   Jove    (Zet/s 
'Ep-retoj,  protector  of  the  courtyard)  in  the  courtyard  of  his 
palace. 

8  The  dolphin  is  so  called   here  in  remembrance  of  th* 

40 


AGAMEMNON 

with  strokes  together,  aid  winds  with  hands  and  move 
their  sturdy  arms  with  rhythmic  swing.  The  fur- 
rowed waters  quiver,  the  vessel's  sides  hiss  through 
the  waves  and  dash  the  blue  sea  into  hoary  spray. 
When  a  fresher  breeze  strains  the  swelling  sails,  the 
warriors  lay  by  their  oars,  trust  ship  to  wind  and, 
stretched  along  the  benches,  either  watch  the  far- 
fleeing  land  as  the  sails  retreat,  or  rehearse  their 
wars — brave  Hector's  threats,  the  chariot1  and  his 
ransomed  body  given  to  the  pyre,  Hercean  Jove 
sprinkled  with  royal  blood.2  Then,  too,  the  Tyrrhene 
fish  3  plays  to  and  fro  in  the  smooth  water,  leaps  over 
the  heaving  seas  with  arching  back,  and  sports 
around,  now  dashing  about  in  circles,  now  swimming 
by  our  side,  now  gaily  leading  and  again  following 
after ;  anon  the  band  in  sheer  wantonness  touch  the 
leading  prow,  now  round  and  round  the  thousandth 
ship  they  swim. 

456  Meanwhile  all  the  shore  is  hid  and  the  plains 
sink  from  view,  and  dimly  the  ridges  of  Ida's  mount 
appear ;  and  now,  what  alone  the  keenest  eye  can  see, 
the  smoke  of  Ilium  shows  but  a  dusky  spot.  Already 
from  the  yoke  Titan  was  freeing  his  horses'  weary 
neoks ;  now  to  the  stars  his  rays  sink  low,  now  day 
goes  headlong  down.  A  tiny  cloud,  growing  to  a 
murky  mass,  stains  the  bright  radiance  of  the  setting 
sun,  and  the  many  coloured  sun-set  has  made  us 
doubt  the  sea.4 

465  Young  night  had  spangled  the  sky  with  stars ; 
the  sails,  deserted  by  the  wind,  hung  low.  Then 
from  the  mountain  heights  there  falls  a  murmur 
deep,  worse  threatening,  and  the  wide-sweeping 

Tyrrhene   pirates   who   under   the   wrath  of   Bacchus  were 
changed  to  dolphins.     See  Oedipus,  449  ff. 
4  This  is  one  of  numerous  weather-signs. 

41 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

tractuque  longo  litus  ac  petrae  gemunt ; 

agitata  ventis  unda  Venturis  tumet — 

cum  subito  luna  conditur,  stellae  latent,  470 

in  astra  pontus  tollitur,  caelum  perit. 

neo  una  nox  est ;  densa  tenebras  obruit 

caligo  et  omni  luce  subducta  fretum 

caelumque  miscet.     undique  incumbunt  simul 

rapiuntque  pelagus  infimo  eversum  solo  1 

ad  versus  Euro  Zephyrus  et  Boreae  Notus. 

sua  quisque  mittit  tela  et  infesti  fretum 

emoliuntur,  turbo  convolvit  mare. 

Strymonius  altas  Aquilo  contorquet  nives 

Libycusque  harenas  Auster  ac  Syrtes  agit ;  480 

nee  manet  in  Austro  :  flat  gravis  nimbis  Notus, 

imbre  auget  undas,  Eurus  orientem  movet 

Nabataea  quatiens  regna  et  Eoos  sinus. 

quid  rabidus  ora  Corus  Oceano  exerens  ? 

mundum  revellit  sedibus  totum  suis, 

ipsosque  rupto  crederes  caelo  deos 

decidere  et  atrum  rebus  induci  chaos. 

vento  resistit  aestus  et  ventus  retro 

aestum  revolvit  ;  non  capit  sese  mare 

undasque  miscent  imber  et  fluctus  suas.  490 

nee  hoc  levamen  denique  aerumnis  datur, 

videre  saltern  et  nosse  quo  pereant  malo. 

premunt  tenebrae  lumina  et  dirae  Stygis 

inferna  nox  est.     excidunt  ignes  tamen 

et  nube  dirum  fulmen  elisa  micat, 

miserisque  lucis  tanta  dulcedo  est  malae ; 

hoc  lumen  optant. 

Ipsa  se  classis  premit 
et  prora  prorae  nocuit  et  lateri  latus. 

1  So  A  :  Leo  infimum  f  everso  polo  with  Et  conjecturing 
infimum  venti  polo,  and  deleting  1.  476. 

42 


AGAMEMNON 

shore  and  rocky  headlands  send  forth  a  moaning 
sound  ;  the  waves,  lashed  by  the  rising  wind,  roll 
high — when  suddenly  the  moon  is  hid,  the  stars  sink 
out  of  sight,  skyward  the  sea  is  lifted,  the  heavens 
are  gone.  'Tis  doubly  night ;  dense  fog  o'erwhelms 
the  dark  and,  all  light  withdrawn,  confuses  sea  and 
sky.  From  all  sides  at  once  the  winds  fall  on  and 
ravage  the  sea,  from  its  lowest  depths  upturned, 
West  wind  with  East  wind  striving,  South  with 
North.  Each  wields  his  own  weapons,  with  deadly 
assault  stirring  up  the  deep,  while  a  whirlwind  churns 
the  waves.  Strymonian  Aquilo  sends  the  deep  snow 
whirling,  and  Libyan  Auster  stirs  up  the  sands  of 
Syrtes ; 1  nor  stands  the  strife  with  Auster :  Notus, 
heavy  with  clouds,  blows  up,  swells  waves  with  rain, 
while  Eurus  attacks  the  dawn,  shaking  Nabataean 
realms,  and  eastern  gulfs.  What  wrought  fierce 
Corus,  thrusting  forth  his  head  from  ocean?  The 
whole  sky  he  tears  from  its  foundations,  and  you 
might  think  the  very  gods  falling  from  the  shattered 
heavens,  and  black  chaos  enveloping  the  world 
Flood  strives  with  wind  and  wind  backward  rolls  the 
flood.  The  sea  contains  not  itself,  and  rain  and 
waves  mingle  their  waters.  Then  even  this  comfort 
fails  their  dreadful  plight,  to  see  at  least  and  know 
the  disaster  by  which  they  perish.  Darkness  weighs 
on  their  eyes,  and  'tis  the  infernal  night  of  awful 
Styx.  Yet  fires  burst  forth,  and  from  the  riven 
clouds  gleams  the  dire  lightning  flash,  and  to  the 
poor  sailors  great  is  the  sweetness  of  that  fearful 
gleam  ;  even  for  such  light  they  pray. 

497  The  fleet  itself  helps  on  its  own  destruction,  prow 
crashing  on  prow  and  side  on  side.     One  ship  the 

1  The  Syrtes  were  shallow  sand-bars  off  the  northern  coast 
of  Africa. 

43 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

illam  dehiscens  pontus  in  praeceps  rapit 

hauritque  et  alto  redditam  revomit  mari ;  500 

haec  onere  sidit,  ilia  convulsum  latus 

submittit  undis,  fluctus  hanc  decimus  tegit. 

haec  lacera  et  omni  decore  populate  levis 

fluitat  nee  illi  vela  nee  tonsae  manent 

nee  rectus  altas  maluS  antemnas  ferens, 

sed  trunca  toto  puppis  Icario  natat. 

nil  ratio  et  usus  audet ;  ars  cessit  malis. 

tenet  horror  artus,  omiiis  officio  stupet 

navita  relicto,  remus  efFugit  manus. 

in  vota  miseros  ultimus  cogit  timor  510 

eademque  superos  Troes  et  Danai  rogant. 

quid  fata  possunt !     invidet  Pyrrhus  patri, 

Aiaci  Vlixes,  Hectori  Atrides  minor, 

Agamemno  Priamo  ;  quisquis  ad  Troiam  iacet 

felix  vocatur,  cadere  qui  meruit  manu,1 

quem  fama  servat,  victa  quern  tell  us  tegit. 

"nil  nobile  ausos  pontus  atque  undae  ferunt  ? 

ignava  fortes  fata  consument  viros  ? 

perdeiida  mors  est  ?     quisquis  es  nondum  malis 

satiate  tantis  caelitum,  tandem  tuum  520 

numen  serena  ;  cladibus  nostris  daret 

vel  Troia  lacrimas.     odia  si  durant  tua 

placetque  mitti  Doricum  exitio  genus, 

quid  hos  simul  perire  nobiscum  iuvat, 

quibus  perimus?     sistite  infestum  mare; 

vehit  ista  Danaos  classis  et  Troas  vehit." 

nee  plura  possunt ;  occupat  vocem  mare. 

1  So  A  :  Leo  gradu. 


1  Every  tenth  wave  was  supposed  to  be  the  greatest  and 
most  destructive. 

2  i.e.  in  safety.     The  contrast  here  is  between  timorous 

44 


AGAMEMNON 

yawning  deep  sucks  into  the  abyss,  engulfs  and  spews 
forth  again,  restored  to  the  sea  above  ;  one  sinks 
of  its  own  weight,  another  turns  its  wrecked  side  to 
the  waves,  and  one  the  tenth l  wave  o'erwhelms. 
Here,  battered  and  stripped  of  all  its  ornament,  one 
floats,  with  neither  sails  nor  oars  nor  straight  mast 
bearing  the  high  sailyards,  a  broken  hulk,  drifting 
wide  on  the  Icarian  sea.  Reason,  experience,  are  of 
no  avail  ;  skill  yields  to  dire  calamity.  Horror  holds 
their  limbs ;  the  sailors  all  stand  stupefied,  their 
tasks  abandoned  ;  oars  drop  from  hands.  To  prayer 
abject  fear  drives  the  wretches,  and  Trojans  and 
Greeks  beg  the  same  things  of  the  gods.  What  can 
near  doom  accomplish  ?  Pyrrhus  envies  his  father, 
Ulysses  Ajax,  the  younger  Atrides  Hector,  Agamem- 
non Priam  ;  whoever  at  Troy  lies  slain  is  hailed  as 
blessed,  who  by  deeds  of  arms  earned  death,  whom 
glory  guards,  whom  the  land  he  conquered  buries. 
"  Do  sea  and  wave  bear 2  those  who  have  dared 
naught  noble,  and  shall  a  coward's  doom  o'erwhelm 
brave  men  ?  Must  death  be  squandered  ?  Whoe'er 
of  heaven's  gods  thou  art,  not  yet  with  our  sore 
troubles  sated,  let  thy  divinity  be  at  last  appeased ; 
o'er  our  calamities  e'en  Troy  would  weep.  But  if 
thy  hate  is  stubborn,  and  'tis  thy  pleasure  to  send 
the  Greek  race  to  doom,  why  wouldst  have  those  3 
perish  along  with  us,  for  whose  sake  we  perish  ? 
Allay  the  raging  sea:  this  fleet  bears  Greeks  but  it 
bears  Trojans  too."  They  can  no  more  ;  the  sea 
usurps  their  words. 

folk  who  have  safely  sailed  the  sea  and  these  brave  men 
who  must  perish  in  it  and  throw  away  their  lives  for  no 
return. 

3  i.e.  the  Trojans,  on  whose  account,  it  is  here  assumed, 
the  destructive  storm  has  been  sent  upon  the  Greeks. 

45 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Ecce  alia  clades  !     fulmine  irati  lovis 
armata  Pallas  quidquid  haut l   hasta  minax, 
haut1  aegide  haut2  furore  Gorgoneo  potest,  530 

at3  igne  patrio  temptat,  et  caelo  novae 
spirant  procellae.     solus  invictus  malis 
luctatur  Aiax.     vela  cogentem  hunc  sua 
tento  rudente  flamma  perstrinxit  cadens. 
libratur  aliud  fulmen  ;   hoc  toto  impetu 
certum  reducta  Pallas  excussit  manu, 
imitata  patrem.     transit  Aiacem  et  ratem 
ratisque  partem  secum  et  Aiacem  tulit. 
nil  ille  motus,  ardua  ut  cautes,  salo 
ambustus  extat,  dirimit  insanum  mare  540 

fluctusque  rumpit  pectore  et  navem  manu 
complexus  ignes  traxit  et  caeco  mari 
conlucet  Aiax,  omne  resplendet  fretum. 
tandem  occupata  rupe  furibundum  intonat : 
"superasse  cuncta,4  pelagus  atque  ignes  iuvat, 
vicisse  caelum  Palladem  fulmen  mare, 
non  me  fugavit  bellici  terror  dei, 
et  Hectorem  una  solus  et  Martem  tuli;5 
Phoebea  nee  me  tela  pepulerunt  gradu. 
cum  Phrygibus  istos  vicimus — tene  horream  ?         550 
aliena  inerti  tela  mittis  dextera. 
quid;  si  ipse  mittat  — "  6  pi ura  cum  auderet  furens, 

1  So  M.  Mueller  emending  o>,  followed  by  Richter :  Leo  aut. 

2  et  w,  emended  by  M.  Mueller :  Leo  et. 

3  aut  o>,  emtnded  by  M.  Mueller :  Leo  aut. 

4  So  Richter :  nunc  E :  nunc  se  A  :  iuvit,  Leo  conj. 

6  This  line  is  jnroperly  deleted  by  Leo,  as  applicable  to  the 
greater  Ajax  and  not  to  the  present  speaker.  Farnabius,  how- 
ever, allow*  the  line  to  stand,  as  befitting  the  boastful,  wild 
words  of  Ajax  Oileus. 

6  All  editors  read  quid  si  ipse  mittat?  a  meaningless  phrase. 
I  have  changed  the  punctuation  as  indicated  above,  leaving  the 
sentence  unfinished. 

46 


AGAMEMNON 

528  But  lo  !  disaster  on  disaster  !  Pallas,  armed  with 
the  bolt  of  angry  Jove,  threatening  essays  whate'er 
she  may,  not  with  spear,  not  with  aegis,  not  with 
Gorgon's  l  rage,  but  with  her  father's  lightning,  and 
throughout  the  sky  new  tempests  blow.  Ajax2 
alone,  undaunted  by  disaster,  keeps  up  the  struggle. 
Him,  shortening  sail  with  straining  halyard,  the 
hurtling  lightning  grazed.  Another  bolt  is  levelled  ; 
this,  with  all  her  might,  Pallas  launched  true,  with 
hand  back  drawn,  in  imitation  of  her  father.  Through 
Ajax  it  passed,  and  through  his  ship,  and  part  of  the 
ship  with  it,  and  Ajax  it  bore  away.  Then  he, 
nothing  moved,  like  some  high  crag,  rises  flame- 
scorched  from  the  briny  deep,  cleaves  the  raging  sea, 
with  his  breast  bursts  through  the  floods  and,  holding 

o  f  O 

to  his  wrecked  vessel  with  his  hand,  drags  flames 
along,  shines  brightly  midst  the  darkness  of  the  sea 
and  illumines  all  the  waves.  At  last,  gaining  a  rock, 
in  mad  rage  he  thunders :  "  'Tis  sweet  to  have 
conquered  all  things,  flood  and  flame,  to  have  van- 
quished sky,  Pallas,  thunderbolt  and  sea.  I  fled  not 
in  terror  of  the  god  of  war  ;  both  Hector  at  once 
and  Mars  did  I  with  my  sole  arm  withstand ;  nor  did 
Phoebus'  shafts  force  me  to  give  way.  Such  warriors, 
together  with  their  Phrygians,  I  conquered  ; — and 
shall  I  shrink  from  thee  ?  Another's  weapon  with 
weakling  hand  thou  hurlest.  What,  if  he  himself 
should  hurl  —  ?"3  When  in  his  madness  he  would 


1  The  shield  (aegis)  of  Minerva  was  set  with  the  terrifying 
Gorgon's  head  given  to  her  by  Perseus. 

2  i.e.  Ajax  "the  Less,"  son  of  Oileus.     This  scene  recalls 
Vergil,  Aen.  I.  41  ff. 

3  Ajax  apparently  would  have  finished  by  saying — "  his 
bolt,  even  then  I  would  not  fear." 

47 


THE  TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

tridente  rupem  submit  pulsam  pater 
Neptunus  imis  exerens  undis  caput 
solvitque  montem  ;  quem  cadens  secum  tulit 
terraque  et  igne  victus  et  pelago  iacet. 

Nos  alia  maior  naufragos  pestis  vocat. 
est  humilis  unda,  scrupeis  mendax  vadis, 
ubi  saxa  rapidis  clausa  verticibus  tegit 
fallax  Caphereus  ;  aestuat  scopulis  fretum  560 

fervetque  semper  fluctus  alterna  vice, 
arx  imminet  praerupta  quae  spectat  mare 
utrimque  geminum.      Pelopis  hinc  oras  tui 
et  Isthmon,  arto  qui  recurvatus  solo 
Ionia  iungi  maria  Phrixeis  vetat, 
hinc  scelere  Lemnon  nobilem  et  Calchedona 
tardamque  ratibus  Aulida.     hanc  arcem  occupat 
Palamedis  ille  genitor  et  clarum  manu 
lumen  nefanda  vertice  e  summo  efferens 
in  saxa  ducit  perfida  classem  face.  570 

haerent  acutis  rupibus  fixae  rates  ; 
has  inopis  undae  brevia  comminuunt  vada, 
pars  vehitur  huius  prima,  pars  scopulo  sedet ; 
hanc  alia  retro  spatia  relegentem  ferit 
et  fracta  frangit.     iam  timent  terram  rates 
et  maria  malunt.     cecidit  in  lucem  furor  ; 
postquam  litatum  est  Ilio,  Phoebus  redit 
et  damna  noctis  tristis  ostendit  dies. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Vtrumne  doleam  laeter  an  reducem  virum  ? 
remeasse  laetor  vulnus  et  regni  grave  580 

1  i  e.  of  the  women  who  killed  all  their  men,  except  that 
Hypsipyle  saved  her  father,  Thoas. 

48 


AGAMEMNON 

be  daring  more,  father  Neptune,  pushing  with  his 
trident,  o'erwhelmed  the  rock,  thrusting  forth  his 
head  from  his  waves'  depths,  and  broke  off  the  crag. 
This  in  his  fall  Ajax  bears  down  with  him,  and  now 
he  lies,  by  earth  and  fire  and  billows  overcome. 

557  But  us  shipwrecked  mariners,  another,  worse 
ruin  challenges.  There  is  a  shallow  water,  a  deceitful 
shoal  full  of  rough  boulders,  where  treacherous  Capher- 
eus  hides  his  rocky  base  beneath  whirling  eddies  ; 
the  sea  boils  upon  the  rocks,  and  ever  the  flood 
seethes  with  its  ebb  and  flow.  A  precipitous  head- 
land o'erhangs,  which  on  either  hand  looks  out  upon 
both  stretches  of  the  sea.  Hence  thou  mayst  descry 
thine  own  Pelopian  shores,  and  Isthmus  which, 
backward  curving  with  its  narrow  soil,  forbids  the 
Ionian  sea  to  join  with  Phrixus'  waves ;  hence  also 
Lemnos,  infamous  for  crime,1  and  Calchedon,  and 
Aulis  which  long  delayed  the  fleet.  Seizing  this 
summit,  the  father  of  Palamedes  with  accursed 
hand  raised  from  the  high  top  a  beacon-light  and 
with  treacherous  torch  lured  the  fleet  upon  the  reefs. 
There  hang  the  ships  caught  on  jagged  rocks  ;  some 
are  broken  to  pieces  in  the  shallow  water  ;  the  prow 
of  one  vessel  is  carried  away,  while  a  part  sticks  fast 
upon  the  rock  ;  one  ship  crashes  with  another  as  it 
draws  back,  both  wrecked  and  wrecking.  Now 
ships  fear  land  and  choose  the  seas.  Towards  dawn 
the  storm's  rage  is  spent ;  now  that  atonement  has 
been  made  for  Ilium,  Phoebus  returns  and  sad  day 
reveals  the  havoc  of  the  night. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Shall  I  lament  or  rejoice  me  at  my  lord's  return  ? 
I  do  rejoice  to  see  him  home  again,  but  o'er  our 

49 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF    SENECA 

lugere  cogor.     redde  iam  Grais,  pater 
altisona  quatiens  regna,  placates  decs, 
nunc  omne  laeta  fronde  veletur  caput, 
sacrifica  dulces  tibia  efiundat  modos 
et  nivea  magnas  victima  ante  aras  cadat. 

Sed  ecce,  turba  tristis  incomptae  comas 
Iliades  adsunt,  quas  super  celso  gradu 
effrena  Phoebas  entheas  laurus  quatit. 


CHORVS 

Heu  quam  dulce  malum  mortal ibus  additum 
vitae  dims  amor,  cum  pateat  malis  590 

effugium  et  miseros  libera  mors  vocet 
portus  aeterna  placidus  quiete. 
nullus  liunc  terror  nee  impotentis 
procella  Fortunae  movet  aut  iniqui 
flamma  Tonantis. 
pax  alta  nullos  l 

civium  coetus  timet  aut  minaces 
victoris  iras,  non  maria  asperis 
insana  coris,  non  acies  feras 

pulvereamve  nubem  600 

motam  barbaricis  equitum  catervis  ; 
non  urbe  cum  tota  populos  cadentes, 
hostica  muros  populante  flamma, 
indomitumve  bellum. 
perrumpet  omne  servitium 
contemptor  levium  deorum, 
qui  vultus  Acherontis  atri, 
qui  Styga  tristem  non  tristis  videt 
audetque  vitae  ponere  finem. 

1  This  awkward  duplication   of  half-lines  Kichter  avoids, 
while  at  the  same  time  olto.ining  a  presumably  more  logical 

50 


AGAMEMNON 

realm's  heavy  loss  am  I  forced  to  grieve.  At  last 
O  father,  that  dost  shake  the  high-resounding  heavens, 
restore  to  the  Greeks  their  gods  appeased.  Now 
let  every  head  be  crowned  with  festal  wreaths,  let 
the  sacrificial  flute  give  forth  sweet  strains,  and  the 
white  victim  at  the  great  altars  fall. 

586  But  see,  a  mournful  throng  with  locks  unbound, 
the  Trojan  women  are  here,  while  high  above  them 
all,  with  proud  step  advancing,  Phoebus'  mad  priestess 
waves  the  inspiring  laurel  branch. 

[Enter  band  of  Trojan  women  led  by  CASSANDRA.] 

CHORUS    OF    TROJAN    WOMEN 

Alas,  how  alluring  a  bane  is  appointed  unto 
mortals,  even  dire  love  of  life,  though  refuge  from 
their  woes  opes  wide,  and  death  with  generous 
hand  invites  the  wretched,  a  peaceful  port  of  ever- 
lasting rest.  Nor  fear  nor  storm  of  raging  Fortune 
disturbs  that  calm,  nor  bolt  of  the  harsh  Thunderer. 
Peace  so  deep  fears  no  citizens'  conspiracy,  no  victor's 
threatening  wrath,  no  wild  seas  ruffled  by  stormy 
winds,  no  fierce  battle  lines  or  dark  cloud  raised  by 
barbaric  squadrons'  hoofs,  no  nations  falling  with 
their  city's  utter  overthrow,  while  the  hostile  flames 
lay  waste  the  walls,  no  fierce,  ungovernable  war. 
All  bonds  will  he  break  through,  who  dares  scorn 
the  fickle  gods,  who  on  the  face  of  dark  Acheron,  on 
fearful  Styx  can  look,  unfearful,  and  is  bold  enough 
to  put  an  end  to  life.  A  match  for  kings,  a  match 

arrangement,  by  reading  II.  605-609  after  I.  595.  He  then 
prints  1.  596  with  a  lacuna :  Alta  pax  .  .  .  nullos. 

51 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

par  ille  regi,  par  superis  erit.  6 10 

o  quam  miserum  est  nescire  mori ! 

Vidimus  patriam  ruentem  nocte  funesta, 
cum  Dardana  tecta  Dorici  raperetis  ignes. 
non  ilia  bello  victa,  non  armis, 
ut  quondam,  Herculea  cecidit  pharetra; 
quam  non  Pelei  Thetidisque  natus 
carusque  Pelidae  minium  feroci 
vicit,  acceptis  cum  fulsit  armis 
fuditque  Troas  falsus  Achilles, 
aut  cum  ipse  Pelides  animos  feroces  620 

sustulit  luctu  celeremque  saltu 
Troades  summis  timuere  muris, 
perdidit  in  malis 
extremum  decus  fortiter  vinci ; 
restitit  quinis  bis  annis 
unius  noctis  peritura  furto. 

Vidimus  simulata  dona 
molis  immensae  Danaumque 
fatale  munus  duximus  nostra 
creduli  dextra  tremuitque  saepe 
limine  in  primo  sonipes,  cavernis  630 

conditos  reges  belhmique  gestans  ; 
et  licuit  dolos  versare  ut  ipsi 
fraude  sua  caderent  Pelasgi. 
saepe  commotae  sonuere  parmae 
tacitumque  murmur  percussit  aures, 
ut  fremuit  male  subdolo 
parens  Pyrrhus  Vlixi. 

Secura  metus  Troica  pubes 
sacros  gaudet  tangere  funes. 
hinc  aequaevi  gregis  Astyanax,  640 

1  Patroclus. 

2  i.e.  at  the  death  of  Patroclus. 

52 


AGAMEMNON 

for  the  high  gods  will  he  be.  Oh,  how  wretched  'tis  to 
know  not  how  to  die  ! 

612  \ye  saw  our  country  fall  on  that  night  of  death, 
when  you,  ye  Doric  fires,  ravished  Dardania's  homes. 
She,  not  in  war  conquered,  not  by  arms,  not,  as 
aforetime,  by  Hercules'  arrows,  fell ;  her,  not  Peleus' 
and  Thetis'  son  o'ercame,  nor  he,1  well-beloved  by 
overbrave  Pelides,  when  in  borrowed  arms  he  shone 
and  drove  Troy's  sons  in  flight,  a  false  Achilles  ;  nor, 
when  Pelides'  self  through  grief2  gave  o'er  his  fierce 
resentment,3  and  the  Trojan  women,  from  the  ram- 
parts watching,  feared  his  swift  attack,  did  she  lose 
amid  her  woes  the  crowning  glory  of  suffering 
conquest  bravely ;  for  ten  long  years  she  stood,  fated 
to  perish  by  one  night's  treachery.4 

627  \ye  saw  tjlat;  feigned  gift,  measureless  in  bulk, 
and  with  our  own  hands  trustfully  dragged  along  the 
Greeks'  deadly  offering  ;  and  oft  on  the  threshold  of 
the  gate  the  noisy  footed  monster  stumbled,  bearing 
within  its  hold  hidden  chiefs  and  war.  We  might 
have  turned  their  guile  against  themselves,  and 
caused  the  Pelasgians  by  their  own  trick  to  fall. 
Oft  sounded  their  jostled  shields,  and  a  low  muttering 
smote  our  ears,  when  Pyrrhus  grumbled,  scarce 
yielding  to  crafty  Ulysses'  will. 

638  All  unafraid,  the  Trojan  youth  joy  to  touch  the 
fatal  ropes.5  Companies  of  their  own  age  here 

3  i.e.  against  Agamemnon. 

4  i.e.  by  the  trick  of  the  wooden  horse. 

6  With  this  whole  passage  compare  Vergil's  description, 
and  especially  Aen.  11.  239. 

53 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

hinc  Haemonio  desponsa  rogo 

ducunt  turmas,  haec  femineas, 

ille  viriles.     festae  matres 

votiva  ferunt  munera  divis ; 

festi  patres  adeunt  aras, 

unus  tota  est  vultus  in  urbe ; 

et,  quod  numquam  post  Hectorcos 

vidimus  ignes,  laeta  est  Hecuba. 

quid  nunc  primum,  dolor  infelix, 

quidve  extremum  deflere  paras?  650 

moenia,  divum  fabricata  manu, 

diruta  nostra  ? 

an  templa  deos  super  usta  suos  ? 

non  vacat  istis  lacrimare  malis — • 

te,  magne  parens,  flent  Iliades. 

vidi,  vidi  senis  in  iugulo 

telum  Pyrrlri  vix  exiguo 

sanguine  tingui. 

CASSANDRA 

Cohibete  lacrimas  omne  quas  tempus  petet, 
Troades,  et  ipsae  vestra  lamentabili  660 

lugete  gemitu  funera  ;  aerumnae  meae 
socium  recusant,     cladibus  questus  meis 
reinovete.     nostris  ipsa  sufficiam  malis. 

CHORVS 

Lacrimas  lacrimis  miscere  iuvat ; 
magis  exurunt  quos  secretae 
lacerant  curae,  iuvat  in  medium 
deflere  suos  ;  nee  tu,  quamvis 
dura  virago  patiensque  mali, 
poteris  tantas  flere  ruinas. 
non  quae  verno  mobile  carmen  670 

ramo  cantat  tristis  aedon 

54 


AGAMEMNON 

Astyanax  leads,  there  she,1  to  the  Thessalian  pyre 
betrothed,  she  leading  maids,  he  youths.  Gaily  do 
mothers  bring  votive  offerings  to  the  gods  ;  gaily  dp 
fathers  approach  the  shrines ;  each  wears  but  one 
look  the  city  o'er ;  and,  what  never  we  saw  since 
Hector's  funeral,  Hecuba  was  glad.  And  now, 
unhappy  grief,  what  first,  what  last,  wilt  thou 
lament  ?  Walls  by  divine  hands  fashioned,  by  our 
own  destroyed  ?  Temples  upon  their  own  gods 
consumed  ?  Time  lacks  to  weep  such  ills — thee,  O 
great  father,  the  Trojan  women  weep.  I  saw,  I  saw 
in  the  old  man's  throat  the  sword  of  Pyrrhus  scarce 
wet  in  his  scanty  blood. 

CASSANDRA 

Restrain  your  tears  which  all  time  will  seek,  ye 
Trojan  women,  and  do  you  yourselves  grieve  for 
your  own  dead  with  groans  and  lamentations  ;  my 
losses  refuse  all  sharing.  Cease  then  your  grief  for 
my  disasters.  I  myself  shall  suffice  for  the  woes  of 
mine  own  house. 

CHORUS 

"1'is  sweet  to  mingle  tears  with  tears  ;  griefs  bring 
more  smart  where  they  wound  in  solitude,  but  'tis 
sweet  in  company  to  bewail  one's  friends  ;  nor  shalt 
thou,  though  strong,  heroic,  and  inured  to  woe, 
avail  to  lament  calamities  so  great.  Not  the  sad 
nightingale,2  which  from  the  vernal  bough  pours 

1  Polyxena.  a  Into  which  Philomela  was  changed. 

55 


THE    TRAGEDIES    OF    SENECA 

Ityn  in  varios  modulata  sonos, 

non  quae  tectis  Bistonis  ales 

residens  summis  impia  diri 

furta  mariti  garrula  narrat, 

lugere  tuam  poterit  digne 

conquesta  domum.     licet  ipse  velit 

clarus  niveos  inter  olores 

Histrum  cycnus  Tanainque  colens 

extrema  loqui,  licet  alcyones  680 

Ceyca  suum  fluctu  leviter 

plangente  sonent,  cum  tranquillo 

male  confisae  credunt  iterum 

pelago  audaces  fetusque  suos 

nido  pavidae  titubante  fovent ; 

non  si  rnolles  comitata  viros 

tristis  laceret  bracchia  tecum 

quae  turritae  turba  parenti 

pectora,  rauco  concita  buxo, 

ferit  ut  Plirygium  lugeat  Attin, —  690 

non  est  lacrimis,  Cassandra,  modus, 

quia  quae  patimur  vicere  modum. 

Sed  cur  sacratas  deripis  capiti  infulas  ? 
miseris  colendos  maxiine  superos  putem. 

CASSANDRA 

Vicere  nostra  iam  metus  omnes  mala, 
equidem  nee  ulla  caelites  placo  prece 
nee,  si  velint  saevire,  quo  noceant  habent. 
Fortuna  vires  ipsa  consumpsit  suas. 
quae  patria  restat,  quis  pater,  quae  iam  soror  ? 

1  The  swallow  (hirundo]  into  which  Procne  was  changed. 
a  Cycnus  (see  Index)  is  here  conceived  of  as  swan  rather 
than  man. 

56 


AGAMEMNON 

forth  her  liquid  song,  piping  of  Itys  in  ever  changing 
strains ;  not  the  bird  1  which,  perching  on  Bistonian 
battlements,  tells  o'er  and  o'er  the  hidden  sins  of 
her  cruel  lord,  will  e'er  be  able,  with  all  her  passionate 
lament,  worthily  to  mourn  thy  house.  Should  bright 
Cycnus' 2  self,  haunting  midst  snowy  swans  Ister 
and  Tanai's,  utter  his  dying  song  ;  should  halcyons 
mourn  their  Ceyx  midst  the  light  wave's  lapping, 
when,  though  distrustful,  boldly  they  trust  once 
more  to  the  tranquil  ocean,  and  anxiously  on  un- 
steady nest  cherish  their  young ;  should  the  sad 
throng  which  follows  the  unmanned  men 3  bruise 

O 

their  arms  along  with  thee,  the  throng  which,  by  the 
shrill  flute  maddened,  smite  their  breasts  to  the 
tower-crowned  mother,4  that  for  Phrygian  Attis  they 
may  lament, — not  so,  Cassandra,  is  there  measure 
for  our  tears,  for  what  we  suffer  has  outmeasured 
measure. 

693  But  why  dost  tear  off  the  holy  fillets  from  thy 
head  ?  Methinks  the  gods  should  be  most  reverenced 
by  unhappy  souls. 

CASSANDRA 

Now  have  our  woes  o'ermastered  every  fear. 
Neither  do  I  appease  the  heavenly  gods  by  any 
prayer,  nor,  should  they  wish  to  rage,  have  they 
wherewith  to  harm  me.  Fortune  herself  has  ex- 
hausted all  her  powers.  What  fatherland  remains  ? 
What  father  ?  WThat  sister  now  ?  Altars 5  and 

*  Priests  of  Cybele.         *  Cybele. 

6  Both  her  brother  Polites  and  her  father  Priam  hud  been 
slain  at  the  altar  of  Hercean  Jove.     See  A  en.  II.  526  ff. 

57 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Dibere  tumuli  sanguinem  atque  arae  meum.  700 

quid  ilia  felix  turba  fraterni  gregis  ? 

exhausta  nempe  !     regia  miseri  senes 

vacua  relicti  ;  totque  per  thalamos  vident 

praeter  Lacaenam  ceteras  viduas  nurus. 

tot  ilia  regum  mater  et  regimen  Phrygum, 

fecunda  in  ignes  Hecuba  fatorum  novas 

experta  leges  induit  vultus  feros  : 

circa  ruinas  rabida  latravit  suas, 

Troiae  superstes,  Hectori,  Priamo,  sibi ! 

CHORVS 

Silet  repente  Phoebas  et  pallor  genas  7 1 0 

creberque  totum  possidet  corpus  tremor  ; 
stetere  vittae,  mollis  borrescit  coma, 
anhela  corda  murmure  incluso  fremunt, 
incerta  nutant  lumiiia  et  versi  retro 
torquentur  oculi,  rursus  immoti  rigent. 
nunc  levat  in  auras  altior  solito  caput 
graditurque  celsa,  nunc  reluctantes  parat 
reserare  fauces,  verba  nunc  clauso  male 
custodit  ore  maenas  impatiens  dei. 

CASSANDRA 

Quid  me  furoris  incitam  stimulis  novi  720 

quid  mentis  inopem,  sacra  Parnasi  iuga, 
rapitis  ?     recede,  Phoebe,  iam  non  sum  tua, 
extingue  flammas  pectori  infixas  meo. 
cui  nunc  vagor  vaesana  ?     cui  bacchor  furens  ? 
iam  Troia  cecidit — falsa  quid  vates  ago  ? 

58 


AGAMEMNON 

tombs  *  have  drunk  up  my  blood.  What  of  that 
happy  throng  of  brothers  ?  Gone,  all !  in  the 
empty  palace  only  sad  old  men  are  left ;  and 
throughout  those  many  chambers  they  see  all 
women,  save  her  of  Sparta,  widowed.  That  mother 
of  so  many  kings,  queen  of  the  Phrygians,  Hecuba, 
fruitful  for  funeral-fires,  proving  new  laws  of  fate, 
has  put  on  bestial  form : 2  around  her  ruined  walls 
madly  she  barked,  surviving  Troy,  son,  husband — 
and  herself! 

CHORUS 

The  bride  of  Phoebus  suddenly  is  still,  pallor 
o'erspreads  her  cheeks,  and  constant  tremors  master 
all  her  frame.  Her  fillets  stand  erect,  her  soft  locks 
rise  in  horror,  her  labouring  heart  sounds  loud  with 
pent  murmuring,  her  glance  wanders  uncertain, 
her  eyes  seem  backward  turned  into  herself,  anon 
they  stare  unmoving.  Now  she  lifts  her  head  into 
the  air  higher  than  her  wont,  and  walks  with  stately 
tread  ;  now  makes  to  unlock  her  struggling  lips,  now 
vainly  tries  to  close  them  on  her  words,  a  mad 
priestess  fighting  against  the  god. 

CASSANDRA 

Why,  O  Parnassus'  sacred  heights,  do  ye  prick  me 
with  fury's  goads  anew,  why  do  you  sweep  me  on, 
bereft  of  sense  ?  Away !  O  Phoebus,  I  am  no 
longer  thine ;  quench  thou  the  flames  set  deep 
within  my  breast.  For  whose  sake  wander  I  now  in 
madness  ?  for  whose  sake  in  frenzy  rave  ?  Now 
Troy  has  fallen — what  have  I,  false  prophetess, 
to  do  ? 

1  Polyxena  had  been  slain  on  Achilles'  tomb. 
8  i.e.  she  was  changed  into  a  dog. 

59 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

Vbi  sum  ?     fugit  lux  alma  et  obscurat  genas 
nox  alta  et  aether  abditus  tenebris  latet. 
sed  ecce  gemino  sole  praefulget  dies 
geminumque  duplices  Argos  attollit  dornus. 
Idaea  cerno  nemora  ;  fatalis  sedet  730 

inter  potentes  arbiter  pastor  deas. — 
timete  reges,  moneo,  furtivum  genus ; 
agrestis  iste  alumnus  evertet  dornum.1 
quid  ista  vaecors  tela  feminea  manu 
destricta  praefert  ?     quern  petit  dextra  virum 
Lacaena  cultu,  ferrum  Amazonium  gerens  ? — 
quae  versat  oculos  alia  mine  facies  meos  ? 
victor  ferarum  colla  sublimis  iacet 
ignobili  sub  dente  Marmaricus  leo, 
morsus  cruentos  passus  audacis  leae. —  740 

quid  me  vocatis  sospitem  solam  e  meis, 
umbrae  meorum  ?     te  sequor  testis,  pater, 
Troiae  sepultae  ;  frater,  auxilium  Phrygum 
terrorque  Danaum,  non  ego  antiquum  decus 
video  aut  calentes  ratibus  exustis  manus, 
sed  lacera  membra  et  saucios  vinclo  gravi 
illos  lacertos  ;  te  sequor,  nimium  cito 
congresse  Achilli  Troile  ;  incertos  geris, 
Deiphobe,  vultus,  coniugis  munus  novae, 
iuvat  per  ipsos  ingredi  Stygios  lacus,  750 

iuvat  videre  Tartar!  saevum  canem 
avidique  regna  Ditis  !     haec  hodie  ratis 
Phlegethontis  atri  regias  animas  vehet, 
victamque  victricemque.     vos,  umbrae,  precor, 
iurata  superis  unda,  te  pariter  precor : 

1  Wilamowitz  conjectures  that  several  lines  have  fallen  out 
after  I.  733,  concerning  the  fates  of  Troy  and  the  crimes  of  the 
Atridae.  Lines  730-733  seem  to  Leo  to  be  spurious. 

1  These  words  have  no  logical  connection  with  her  previous 
utterance,  and  are  a  dark  allusion  to  Aegisthus. 

60 


AGAMEMNON 

726  Where  am  I  ?  Fled  is  the  kindly  light,  deep 
darkness  blinds  my  eyes,  and  the  sky,  buried  in 
gloom,  is  hidden  away.  But  see  !  with  double  sun 
the  day  gleams  forth,  and  double  Argos  lifts  up 
twin  palaces !  Ida's  groves  I  see  ;  there  sits  the 
shepherd,  fateful  judge  midst  mighty  goddesses.- 
Fear  him,  ye  kings,  I  warn  you,  fear  the  child  of 
stolen  love ; l  that  rustic  foundling  shall  overturn 
your  house.  What  means  that  mad  woman  with 
drawn  sword  in  hand  ?  What  hero  seeks  she  with 
her  right  hand,  a  Spartan  in  her  garb,2  but  carrying 
an  Amazonian  axe  ? — What  sight  is  that  other  which 
now  employs  mine  eyes  ?  The  king  of  beasts  with 
his  proud  neck,  by  a  base  fang  lies  low,  an  Afric 
lion,  suffering  the  bloody  bites  of  his  bold  lioness. - 
Why  do  ye  summon  me,  saved  only  of  my  house, 
my  kindred  shades?  Thee,  father,  do  I  follow,  eye- 
witness of  Troy's  burial ;  thee,  brother,  help  of  the 
Phrygians,  terror  of  the  Greeks,  I  see  not  in  thine 
old-time  splendour,  or  with  thine  hands  hot  from 
the  burning  of  the  ships,  but  mangled  of  limb,  with 
those  arms  wounded  by  the  deep-sunk  thongs ; 
thee,  Troilus,  I  follow,  too  early  with  Achilles  met ; 
unrecognisable  the  face  thou  wearest,  Deiphobus,3 
the  gift  of  thy  new  wife.4  'Tis  sweet  to  fare  along 
the  very  Stygian  pools ;  sweet  to  behold  Tartarus' 
savage  dog  and  the  realms  of  greedy  Dis  !  To-day 
this  skiff  of  murky  Phlegethon  shall  bear  royal 
souls,5  vanquished  and  vanquisher.  Ye  shades,  I 
pray  ;  thou  stream  on  which  the  gods  make  oath, 
thee  no  less  I  pray :  for  a  little  withdraw  the 

2  She  has  a  clairvoyant  prevision  of  the  act  of  Clyteinnestra. 

3  See  Vergil,  A  en.  vi.  494  ff. 

4  i.e.  Helen. 

8  Her  own  and  Agamemnon's. 

61 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

reserate  paulum  terga  nigrantis  poli, 

levis  ut  Mycenas  turba  prospiciat  Phrygum. 

spectate,  miseri ;   fata  se  vertunt  retro. 

Instant  sorores  squalidae, 
sanguinea  iactant  verbera,  760 

fert  laeva  semustas  faces 
turgentque  pallentes  genae 
et  vestis  atri  funeris 
exesa  cingit  ilia, 
strepuntque  nocturni  metus 
et  ossa  vasti  corporis 
corrupta  longinquo  situ 
palude  limosa  iacent.1 
et  ecce,  defessus  senex 

ad  ora  ludentes  aquas  770 

non  captat  oblitus  sitim, 
maestus  future  funere ; 
exultat  et  ponit  gradus 
pater  decoros  Dardanus. 

CHORVS 

lam  pervagatus  ipse  se  fregit  furor, 
caditque  flexo  qualis  ante  aras  genii 
cervice  taurus  vulnus  incertum  gerens. 
relevemus  artus.     en  deos  tandem  suos 
victrice  lauru  cinctus  Agamemnon  adit, 
et  festa  coniunx  obvios  illi  tulit  780 

gressus  reditque  iuncta  concordi  gradu. 

AGAMEMNON 

Tandem  revertor  sospes  ad  patrios  lares ; 
o  cara  salve  terra,     tibi  tot  barbarae 

1  Leo  remarks  upon  the  unintelligibility  of  II.  766-768. 
62 


AGAMEMNON 

covering  of  that  dark  world,  that  on  Mycenae  the 
shadowy  throng  of  Phrygians  may  look  forth.  Be- 
hold, poor  souls ;  the  fates  turn  backward  on  them- 
selves. 

759  They  press  on,  the  squalid  sisters,  their  bloody 
lashes  brandishing ;  their  left  hands  half-burned 
torches  bear ;  bloated  are  their  pallid  cheeks,  and 
dusky  robes  of  death  their  hollow  loins  encircle ; 
the  fearsome  cries  of  night  resound,  and  a  huge 
body's  bones,  rotting  with  long  decay,  lie  in  a  slimy 
marsh.1  And  see !  that  spent  old  man,2  forgetting 
thirst,  no  longer  catches  at  the  mocking  waters, 
grieving  at  death 3  to  come ;  but  father  Dardanus 
exults  and  walks  along  with  stately  tread. 

CHORUS 

Now  has  her  rambling  frenzy  spent  itself,  and 
falls,  as  before  the  altar  with  sinking  knees  falls  the 
bull,  receiving  an  ill-aimed  stroke  upon  his  neck. 
Let  us  lift  up  her  body.  But  lo !  at  last  to  his  own 
gods,  wreathed  with  victorious  bay,  Agamemnon 
comes ;  his  wife  with  joy  has  gone  forth  to  meet 
him,  and  now  returns,  joining  her  steps  in  harmony 
with  his. 

[Enter  AGAMEMNON.  He  has  been  met  and  greeted  by 
his  wife,  mho  enters  with  him  and  goes  on  alone  into 
the  palaceJ\ 

AGAMEMNON 

At  length  am  I  returned  in  safety  to  my  father's 
house.  O  dear  land,  hail !  To  thee  many  barbaric 

1  If  Seneca  wrote  lines  766-768,  he  may  have  had  some 
definite  reference  in  his  mind  unknown  to  us,  or  he  may  have 
meant  merely  to  add  further  gruesome  detail  to  the  picture. 

2  Tantalus. 

3  i.e.  of  Agamemnon,  great-grandson  of  Tantalus. 

63 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

dedere  gentes  spolia,  tibi  felix  diu 

potentis  Asiae  Troia  summisit  manus. — 

quid  ista  vates  corpus  effusa  ac  tremens 

dubia  labat  cervice  ?     famuli,  attollite, 

refovete  gelido  latice.     iam  recipit  diem 

marcente  visu.     suscita  sensus  tuos  ! 

optatus  ille  portus  aerumnis  adest.  790 

festus  dies  est. 

CASSANDRA 

Festus  et  Troiae  fuit. 

AGAMEMNON 

Veneremur  aras. 

CASSANDRA 

Cecidit  ante  aras  pater. 

AGAMEMNON 

lovem  precemur  pariter. 

CASSANDRA 

Herceum  lovem  ? 

AGAMEMNON 

Credis  videre  te  Ilium  ? 

CASSANDRA 

Et  Priam  um  simul 

AGAMEMNON 

Hie  Troia  non  est. 

CASSANDRA 

Vbi  Helena  est  Troiam  puto. 

1  Cassandra.  3  See  Vergil,  A  en.  n.  249. 

3  It   was  at  the  altar  of  Hercean  Jove  that  Priam  was 
slain  (A en.  u.  512  fif.). 

64 


AGAMEMNON 

nations  have  given  spoil,  to  thee  proud  Asia's  Troy, 
long  blest  of  heaven,  has  yielded. — Why  does  the 
priestess  l  there  faint  and  fall  tottering  with  droop- 
ing head  ?  Slaves,  lift  her  up,  revive  her  with  cool 
water.  Now  with  languid  gaze  she  again  beholds 
the  light.  [To  CASSANDRA.]  Awake  to  life !  that 
longed  for  haven  from  our  woes  is  here ;  this  is  a 
festal  day. 

CASSANDRA 

'Twas  festal,2  too,  at  Troy. 

AGAMEMNON 

Let  us  kneel  before  the  altar. 

CASSANDRA 

Before  the  altar  my  father  fell. 

AGAMEMNON 

To  Jove  let  us  pray  together. 

CASSANDRA 

Hercean  Jove  ?  3 

AGAMEMNON 

Dost  think  thou  lookst  on  Ilium? 

CASSANDRA 

And  Priam,  too. 

AGAMEMNON 

Here  is  not  Troy. 

CASSANDRA 

Where  a  Helen  4  is,  I  think  is  Troy. 

4  i.e.  an  evil,  adulterous  woman  such  as  Helen.  Helen 
was  not  in  Greece  at  this  time.  The  reference  is  obviously 
to  Clytemnestra. 

65 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

AGAMEMNON 

Ne  metue  dominnm  famula. 

CASSANDRA 

Libertas  adest. 

AGAMEMNON 

Sectira  vive. 

CASSANDRA 

Mihi  mori  est  securitas. 

AGAMEMNON 

Nullum  est  periclum  tibimet. 

CASSANDRA 

At  magnum  tibi 

AGAMEMNON 

Victor  timere  quid  potest  ? 

CASSANDRA 

Quod  non  timet. 

AGAMEMNON 

Hanc  fida  famuli  turba,  dum  excutiat  deum,      800 
retinete  ne  quid  impotens  peccet  furor, 
at  te,  pater,  qui  saeva  torques  fulmina 
pellisque  nubes,  sidera  et  terras  regis, 
ad  quern  triumphi  spolia  victores  ferunt, 
et  te  sororem  cuncta  pollentis  viri, 
Argolica  luno,  pecore  votivo  libens 
Arabumque  donis  supplice  et  fibra  colam. 

1  Cassandra  is  supposed  to  be  still  under  the  influence  of 
Apollo. 

66 


AGAMEMNON 

AGAMEMNON 

Fear  thou  no  mistress,  though  a  slave. 

CASSANDRA 

Freedom  is  near  at  hand. 

AGAMEMNON 

Live  on,  secure. 

CASSANDRA 

For  me,  death  is  security. 

AGAMEMNON 

For  thee  there  is  naught  to  fear. 

CASSANDRA 

But  much  for  thee. 

AGAMEMNON 

What  can  a  victor  fear? 

CASSANDRA 

What  he  doth  not  fear. 

AGAMEMNON 

Ye  faithful  slaves,  restrain  her  till  she  throw  off 
the  god,1  lest  in  her  wild  frenzy  she  do  some  harm. 
But  thee,  O  father,  who  the  dire  thunder  hurlest, 
and  driv'st  the  clouds,  who  the  stars  and  lands  dost 
rule,  to  whom  in  triumph  victors  bring  their  spoils; 
and  thee,  sister  of  thine  almighty  lord,  Argolian 
Juno,  gladly  with  votive  flocks,  with  gifts 2  from 
Araby,  and  with  suppliant  offerings  of  entrails  will 
1  adore. 

[Exit  into  the  palace.] 

a  Incense.  en 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

CHORVS 

Argos  nobilibus  nobile  civibus, 
Argos  iratae  carum  novercae, 
semper  ingentes  alumnos  810 

educas,  numerum  deorum 
imparem  aequasti.     tuus  ille 
bis  seno  meruit  labore 
adlegi  caelo 

magnus  Alcides,  cui  lege  mundi 
Iup])iter  rupta  geminavit  boras 
roscidae  noctis  iussitque  Phoebum 
tardius  celeres  agitare  currus 
et  tuas  lente  remeare  bigas, 
pallida  Phoebe  ; 
rettulit  pedem 

nomen  alternis  stella  quae  mutat  820 

seque  mirata  est  Hesperum  dici ; 
Aurora  movit  ad  solitas  vices 
caput  et  relabens  imposuit  seni 
collura  marito. 
sensit  ortus,  sensit  occasus 
Herculem  nasci ;  violentus  ille 
nocte  non  una  poterat  creari. 
tibi  concitatus  substitit  mini  d  us, 
o  puer  subiture  caelum. 

Te  sensit  Nemeaeus  arto 

pressus  lacerto  fulraineus  leo  830 

cervaque  Parrhasis, 
sensit  Arcadii  populator  agri, 

1  i.e.  to  Juno,  constantly  angered  by  the  children  of  Jove's 
mistresses. 

2  Farnabius   thus   explains  this   curious    statement :    the 
deification   of   Hercules  (to  which  Juno  at   last  consented) 
added    to   the  number,  not   of   the   great   gods,    who   were 

68 


AGAMEMNON 

CHORUS    OF    ARGIVE    WOMEN 

O  Argos,  ennobled  by  thy  noble  citizens,  Argos, 
dear  to  the  step-dame  though  enraged,1  ever  mighty 
sons  thou  fosterest  and  hast  made  even 2  the  odd 
number  of  the  gods.  That  hero  of  thine  by  his 
twelve  labours  earned  the  right  to  be  chosen  for  the 
skies,  great  Hercules,  for  whom,3  the  world's  law- 
broken,  Jove  doubled  the  hours  of  dewy  night,  bade 
Phoebus  more  slowly  drive  his  hastening  car,  and  thy 
team  to  turn  back  with  laggard  feet,  O  pale  Phoebe. 
Backward  the  star  turned  his  steps,  the  star  who 
changes  from  name  to  name,4  and  marvelled  still  to 
be  called  Hesperus,  evening  star.  Aurora  stirred  at 
the  accustomed  hour  of  dawn,  but,  sinking  back,  laid 
her  head  and  neck  upon  the  breast  of  her  aged  hus- 
band.5 The  rising,  yea,  and  the  setting  of  the  sun 
felt  the  birth  of  Hercules ;  a  hero  so  mighty  could 
not  be  begotten  in  a  single  night.  For  thee  the 
whirling  universe  stood  still,  O  boy,  destined  to 
mount  the  skies. 

829  The  lightning-swift  lion  of  Nemea  felt  thy 
power,  crushed  by  thy  straining  arms,  and  the 
Parrhasian  hind,  the  ravager  6  of  Arcady's  fields,  felt 

twelve  in  number,  but  of  the  gods  of  the  second  rank  (diis 
communibus),  three  in  number — Mais,  Bellona,  and  Victoria 
-thus  making  even  the  number  which  had  been  odd. 

3  i.e.  for  his  begetting.     See  Here.  Fur  11   24  and  1158. 

4  i.e.  it  is  now  called  Lucifer  and  now  Hesperus,  according 
as  it  is  morning  or  evening  star. 

6  Tithonus. 

•  The  Erymanthian  boar. 

69 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

gemuitque  taurus  Dictaea  linquens 

horridus  arva. 

morte  fecundum  domuit  draconem 

vetuitque  collo  pereunte  nasci, 

geminosque  fratres 

pectore  ex  uno  tria  monstra  natos 

stipite  incusso  fregit  insultans, 

duxitque  ad  ortus  Hesperium  pecus,  840 

Geryonae  spolium  triformis. 

egit  Threicium  gregem, 

quern  non  Strymonii  gramine  fluminis 

Hebrive  ripis  pavit  tyrannus  ; 

hospitum  dirus  stabulis  cruorem 

praebuit  saevis  tinxitque  crudos 

ultimus  rictus  sanguis  aurigae. 

vidit  Hippolyte  ferox 

pectore  e  medio  rapi 

spolium,  et  sagittis 

nube  percussa  Stymphalis  alto  850 

decidit  caelo  ; 

arborque  pomis  fertilis  aureis 

extimuit  manus  insueta  carpi 

fugitque  in  auras  leviore  ramo. 

audivit  sonitum  crepitante  lamna 

frigidus  custos  nescius  somni, 

linqueret  cum  iam  nemus  omne  fulvo 

plenus  Alcides  vacuum  metallo. 

tractus  ad  caelum  canis  inferorum 

triplici  catena  tacuit  nee  ullo  860 

latravit  ore, 

lucis  ignotae  metuens  colorem. 

1  It  was  the  nature  of  the  hydra  that  as  each  head  was  cut 
off  two  appeared  in  its  place. 

2  yeminoa   here  =  triyeminos,   referring   to   the   triple-man 
monster,  Geryon. 

70 


AGAMEMNON 

thee,  too,  and  loud  bellowed  the  savage  bull,  leaving 
the  fields  of  Crete.  The  hydra,  fertile  in  death,  he 
overcame  and  forbade  new  births  from  each  neck 
destroyed;1  the  mated2  brethren,  springing  three 
monsters  from  a  single  body,  he  crushed,  leaping  on 
them  with  his  crashing  club,  and  brought  to  the 
east  the  western  herd,  spoil  of  the  three-formed 
Geryon.  He  drove  the  Thracian  herd3  which  the 
tyrant  fed,  not  on  the  grass  of  the  Strymon  or  on 
the  banks  of  the  Hebrus  ;  cruel,  he  offered  his  savage 
horses  the  gore  of  strangers — and  the  blood  of  their 
driver4  was  the  last  to  stain  red  their  jaws.  Warlike 
Hippolyte  saw  the  spoil5  snatched  from  about  her 
breast ;  and  by  his  shafts  down  from  the  riven  cloud 
from  high  heaven  fell  the  Stymphalian  bird.  The 
tree,  laden  with  golden  fruit,  shrank  from  his  hands, 
unused  to  such  plucking,  and  the  bough,  relieved  of 
its  burden,  sprang  into  the  air.  The  cold,  sleepless 
guardian 6  heard  the  sound  of  the  clinking  metal, 
only  when  heavy  laden  Alcides  was  leaving  the  grove 
all  stripped  of  its  tawny  gold.  Dragged  to  the  upper 
world  by  triple  fetters,  the  infernal  dog  was  silent, 
nor  with  any  mouth  did  he  bay,  shrinking  from  the 
hues  of  unexperienced  light.  Under  thy  leader- 

3  The  man-eating  horses  of  Diomedes,  tyrant  of  Thrace. 

4  i.e.  Hercules  gave  Diomedes  to  his  own  horses  to  devour. 
6  The  famous  golden  girdle. 

'  The  dragon,  set  to  guard  the  golden  apples. 

71 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

te  duce  succidit 

mendax  Dardanidae  domus 

et  sensit  arcus  iterum  timendos  ; 

te  duce  concidit 

totidem  diebus  Troia  quot  annis. 

CASSANDRA 

Res  agitur  intus  magna,  par  annis  decem. 
eheu  quid  hoc  est  ?     anime,  consurge  et  cape 
pretium  furoris — vicimus  victi  Phryges  ! 
bene  est,  resurgit  Troia  ;  traxisti  iacens,  870 

parens,  Mycenas,  terga  dat  victor  tuus  ! 
tarn  clara  numquam  providae  mentis  furor 
ostendit  oculis  ;  video  et  intersum  et  fruor  ; 
imago  visus  dubia  non  fallit  meos  ; 
spectemus. 

Epulae  regia  instructae  domo, 
quales  fuerunt  ultimae  Phrygibus  dapes, 
celebrantur  ;  ostro  lectus  Iliaco  nitet 
merumque  in  auro  veteris  Assaraci  trahunt. 
en  ipse  picta  veste  sublimis  iacet, 
Priaini  superbas  corpore  exuvias  gerens.  880 

detrahere  cultus  uxor  hostiles  iubet, 
induere  potius  coniugis  fidae  manu 
textos  amictus — horreo  atque  animo  tremo ! 
regemne  perimet  exul  et  adulter  virum  ? 
venere  fata,     sanguinem  extremae  dapes 
domini  videbunt  et  cruor  Baccho  incidet. 
mortifera  vinctum  perfide  tradit  neci 
induta  vestis  ;  exitum  manibus  negant 

1  In  the  time  of  Laomedon. 

*  The   arrows   of   Hercules   in   the   hands   of    Philoctetes 
assisted  in  the  final  fall  of  Troy  under  Priam. 
3  She  either  stands  where  she  can  see  the  interior  of  the 

72 


AGAMEMNON 

ship  fell  the  lying  house 1  of  Dardanus  and  suffered 
the  arrows,  once  again 2  to  be  feared ;  under  thy 
leadership  in  as  many  days  Troy  fell  as  it  took  years 
thereafter. 

CASSANDRA  [alone  upon  ike  stage]  8 

A  great  deed  is  done  within,  a  match  for  ten  years 
of  war.  Ah  !  What  is  this  ?  Rise  up,  my  soul,  and 
take  the  reward  of  thy  madness — we  are  conquerors, 
we  conquered  Phrygians  !  Tis  well  !  Troy  has  risen 
again !  In  thy  fall,  O  father,  thou  hast  dragged 
down  Mycenae ;  thy  conqueror  gives  way !  Never 
before  did  my  mind's  prophetic  frenzy  give  sight  to 
mine  eyes  so  clear ;  I  see,  I  am  in  the  midst  of  it,  I 
revel  in  it ;  'tis  no  doubtful  image  cheats  my  sight ; 
let  me  gaze  my  fill. 

875  A  feast  is  spread  within  the  royal  house  and 
thronged  with  guests,  like  that  last  banquet  of  the 
Phrygians;  the  couches  gleam  with  Trojan  purple, 
and  their  wine  they  quaff  from  the  golden  cups  of 
old  Assaracus.  Lo,  he  himself4  in  broidered  vest- 
ments lies  on  lofty  couch,  wearing  on  his  body  the 
proud  spoils  of  Priam.  His  wife  bids  him  doff  the 
raiment  of  his  foe  and  don  instead  a  mantle  her  own 
fond  hands  have  woven — I  shudder  and  my  soul 
trembles  at  the  sight!  Shall  an  exile5  slay  a  king? 
an  adulterer5  the  husband?  The  fatal  hour  has 
come.  The  banquet's  close  shall  see  the  master's 
blood,  and  gore  shall  fall  into  the  wine.  The  deadly 
mantle  he  has  put  on  delivers  him  bound  treacher- 
ously to  his  doom ;  the  loose,  impenetrable  folds 

palace,  and  describes  what  is  going  on  within,  or  else  she 
sees  it  by  clairvoyant  power. 

4  Agamemnon.  *  Aegisthus. 

73 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

caputque  laxi  et  invii  claudunt  sinus. 

haurit  trementi  semivir  dextra  latus,  890 

nee  penitus  egit ;  vulnere  in  medio  stupet. 

at  ille,  ut  altis  hispidus  silvis  aper 

cum  casse  vinctus  temptat  egressus  tamen 

artatque  motu  vincla  et  in  cassum  furit, — 

cupit  fluentes  undique  et  caecos  sinus 

disicere  et  hostem  quaerit  implicitus  suum. 

armat  bipenni  Tyndaris  dextram  furens, 

qualisque  ad  aras  colla  taurorum  popa 

designat  oculis  antequam  ferro  petat, 

sic  hue  et  illuc  impiam  librat  manum.  900 

habet !     peractum  est !     pendet  exigua  male 

caput  amputatum  parte  et  hinc  trunco  cruor 

exundat,  illic  ora  cum  fremitu  iacent. 

nondum  recedunt ;  ille  iam  exanimem  petit 

laceratque  corpus,  ilia  fodientem  adiuvat. 

uterque  tanto  scelere  respondet  suis — 

est  hie  Thyeste  natus,  haec  Helenae  soror. 

stat  ecce  Titan  dubius  emerito  die, 

suane  currat  an  Thyestea  via. 


ELECTRA 

Fuge,  o  paternae  mortis  auxilium  unicum,          910 
fuge  et  scelestas  hostium  vita  manus. 
eversa  domus  est  funditus,  regna  occidunt. 

Hospes  quis  iste  concitos  currus  agit  ? 
germane,  vultus  veste  furabor  tuos. 

1  i.e.  Clytemnestra,  daughter  of  Tyndareus. 

2  i.e.  the  wound.     The  formula  is  taken  from  the  gladia- 
torial contests. 

74 


AGAMEMNON 

refuse  outlet  to  his  hands  and  enshroud  his  head. 
With  trembling  right  hand  the  half-man  stabs  at  his 
side,  but  hath  not  driven  deep ;  in  mid  stroke  he 
stands  as  one  amazed.  But  he,  as  in  the  deep  woods 
a  bristling  boar,  though  with  the  net  entangled,  still 
tries  for  freedom,  and  by  his  struggling  draws  close 
his  bonds  and  rages  all  in  vain, — he  strives  to  throw 
off  the  blinding  folds  all  around  him  floating,  and, 
though  closely  enmeshed,  seeks  for  his  foe.  Now 
Tyndaris 1  in  mad  rage  snatches  a  two-edged  axe 
and,  as  at  the  altar  the  priest  marks  with  his  eye  the 
oxen's  necks  before  he  strikes,  so,  now  here,  now 
there,  her  impious  hand  she  aims.  He  has  it !  2  the 
deed  is  done  !  The  scarce  severed  head  hangs  by  a 
slender  part ;  here  blood  streams  o'er  his  headless 
trunk,  there  lie  his  moaning  lips.  And  not  yet  do 
they  give  o'er ;  he  attacks  the  already  lifeless  man, 
and  keeps  hacking  at  the  corpse  ;  she  helps  him  in 
the  stabbing.  Each  one  in  this  dire  crime  answers 
to  his  own  kin — he  is  Thyestes'  son,  she,  Helen's 
sister.  See,  Titan,  the  day's  work  done,  stands 
hesitant  whether  his  own  or  Thyestes'  3  course  to  run. 

[Remains  beside  the  altar. 
[Enter  ELECTRA,  leading  her  young  brother ,  ORESTES.] 

ELECTRA 

Fly,  O  sole  avenger  of  our  father's  death,  fly  and 
escape  our  enemies'  miscreant  hands.  O'erthrown 
is  our  house  to  its  foundations,  our  kingdom  fallen. 

913  But  who  is  yonder  stranger,  driving  his  chariot 
at  speed  ?  Come  brother,  I  will  hide  thee  'neath  my 

3  i.e.  backward  as  on  the  occasion  of  Thyestes'  banquet  on 
his  own  sons. 

75 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 
quid,  anime  demens,  refugis  ?     externos  times? 
domus  timenda  est.     pone  iam  trepidos  metus, 
Oresta ;  amici  fida  praesidia  intuor. 


STROI'HIVS 

Phocide  relicta  Strophius  Elea  inclutus 
palma  revertor.     causa  veniendi  fuit 
gratari  amico,  cuius  impulsum  manu  Q20 

cecidit  decenni  Marte  concussum  Ilium, 
quaenam  ista  lacrimis  lugubrem  vultum  rigat 
pavetque  maesta  ?     regium  agnosco  genus. 
Electra  !     fletus  causa  quae  laeta  in  domo  est  ? 

ELECTRA 

Pater  peremptus  scelere  materno  iacet, 
comes  paternae  quaeritur  natus  neci, 
Aegisthus  arces  Venere  quaesitas  tenet. 

STIIOPHIVS 
O  nulla  longi  temporis  felicitas  ' 

ELECTRA 

Per  te  parentis  memoriam  obtestor  mei, 
per  sceptra  terris  nota,  per  dubios  deos  ;  930 

recipe  hunc  Oresten  ac  pium  furtum  occule. 


76 


AGAMEMNON 

robe.  Why,  foolish  heart,  dost  thou  shrink  away  ? 
Strangers  dost  fear?  Tis  our  home  that  must  be 
feared.  Put  away  now  thy  trembling  dread,  Orestes  ; 
the  trusty  protection  of  a  friend  I  see. 

[Enter  STROPHIUS  in  a  chariot,  accompanied  by  his  son 

PY  LADES.] 
STROPHIUS 

I,  Strophius,  had  Phocis  left,  and  now  am  home 
returning,  made  glorious  by  the  Elean  palm.  The 
cause  of  my  coming  hither  was  to  congratulate  my 
friend,  o'erthrown  by  whose  hand  and  crushed  by 
ten  years  of  war  has  Ilium  fallen.  [He  notices 
ELECTRA'S  distress.]  But  who  is  that  yonder,  watering 
her  sad  face  with  tears,  fear-struck  and  sorrowful  ? 
One  of  the  royal  house  I  recognize.  Electra  !  What 
cause  of  weeping  can  be  in  this  glad  house  ? 

ELECTRA 

My  father  lies  murdered  by  my  mother's  crime ; 
they  seek  the  son  to  share  in  his  father's  death  ; 
Aegisthus  holds  the  throne  by  guilty  love  secured. 

STROPHIUS 
Alas !  no  happiness  is  of  lengthened  stay. 

ELECTRA 

By  the  memory  of  my  father  I  beseech  thee,  by 
his  sceptre  known  to  all  the  world,  by  the  fickle 
gods  : l  take  this  boy,  Orestes,  and  hide  the  holy 
theft. 

1  Who  may  bring  quick  downfall  to  thee  also. 

77 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

STROPHIVS 

Etsi  timendum  caesus  Agamemnon  docet, 
aggrediar  et  te,  Oresta,  furabor  libens. 
fidem  secunda  poscunt,  adversa  exigunt.1 
cape  hoc  decorum  ludicri  certaminis, 
insigne  frontis  ;  laeva  victricem  tenens 
frondem  virenti  protegat  ramo  caput, 
et  ista  donum  palma  Pisaei  lovis 
velamen  eadem  praestet  atque  omen  tibi. 
tuque  o  paternis  assidens  frenis  comes,  940 

condisce,  Pylade,  patris  exemplo  fidem. 
vos  Graecia  nunc  teste  veloces  equi 
infida  cursu  fugite  praecipiti  loca. 

ELECTRA 

Excessit,  abiit,  currus  effreno  impetu 
effugit  aciem.  tuta  iam  opperiar  meos 
hostes  et  ultro  vulneri  opponam  caput. 

Adest  cruenta  coniugis  victrix  sui 
et  signa  caedis  veste  maculata  gerit. 
manus  recenti  sanguine  etiamnunc  madent 
vultusque  prae  se  scelera  truculenti  ferunt.  950 

concedam  ad  aras.     patere  me  vittis  tuis, 
Cassandra,  iungi  paria  metuentem  tibi. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Hostis  parentis,  impium  atque  audax  caput, 
quo  more  coetus  publicos  virgo  petis  ? 

1  Leo  deletes  this  line,  following  Peiper. 

1  Of  olive.         2  Of  palm.         s  In  the  Olympic  games. 
78 


AGAMEMNON 

STROPHIUS 

Although  murdered  Agamemnon  warns  me  to 
beware,  I  will  brave  the  danger  and  gladly,  Orestes, 
will  I  steal  thee  off.  Good  fortune  asks  for  faith, 
adversity  demands  it.  [Takes  ORESTES  into  the  chariot .] 
Take  thou  this  crown,1  won  in  the  games,  as  an  orna- 
ment for  thy  head,  and,  holding  this  victor's  bough  2 
in  thy  left  hand,  shield  thy  face  with  its  great  branch, 
and  may  that  palm,  the  gift  of  Pisaean  Jove,  afford 
thee  at  once  a  covering  and  an  omen.  And  do 
thou,  Pylades,  who  standest  as  comrade  to  guide  thy 
father's  car,  learn  faith  from  the  example  of  thy  sire. 
And  now,  do  you,  my  horses,  whose  speed  all  Greece 
has  seen,3  flee  from  this  treacherous  place  in  head- 
long flight.  [Exeunt  at  great  speed. 

ELECTRA  [looking  after  them] 

He  has  departed,  gone,  his  car  at  a  reckless  pace 
has  vanished  from  my  sight.  Now  free  from  care 
shall  I  await  my  foes,  and  willingly  oppose  myself  to 
death.  [She  sees  CLYTEMNESTRA  approaching.] 

947  Here  is  the  bloody  conqueror  of  her  lord,  with 
the  signs  of  murder  on  her  blood-stained  robe.  Her 
hands  are  still  reeking  with  blood  fresh-spilled,  and 
her  savage  features  bear  tokens  of  her  crime.  I'll 
take  me  to  the  altar.  Let  me  be  joined,  Cassandra, 
with  thy  fillets,4  since  I  fear  like  doom  with  thee. 

[Etlter  CLYTEMNESTRA.] 
CLYTEMNESTRA 

Foe  of  thy  mother,  unfilial  and  froward  girl, 
by  what  custom  dost  thou,  a  maid,  seek  public 
gatherings  ? 

4  i.e.  let  me  join  her  who  with  the  sacred  fillets  on  her 
head  has  taken  refuge  at  the  altar. 

79 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ELECTHA 

Adulterorum  virgo  deserui  domum. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Quis  esse  credat  virginem? 

ELECTRA 

Natam  tuam  ? 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Modestius  cum  matre ! 

ELECTRA 

Pietatem  doces  ? 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Animos  viriles  corde  tumefacto  geris 
sed  agere  domita  feminam  disces  malo. 

ELECTRA 

Nisi  forte  fall  or,  feminas  ferrum  decet. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Et  esse  demens  te  parem  nobis  putas  ? 

ELECTRA 

Vobis  ?     quis  iste  est  alter  Agamemnon  tuus  ? 
ut  vidua  loquere  ;  vir  caret  vita  tuus. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Indomita  posthac  virginis  verba  impiae 
regina  frangam  ;  citius  interea  mihi 
edissere  ubi  sit  natus,  ubi  frater  tuus. 


80 


AGAMEMNON 

ELECTRA 

Because  I  am  a  maid  have  I  left  the  adulterers' 
home. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Who  would  believe  thee  maid  ? 

ELECTRA 

A  child  of  thine?1 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

More  gently  with  thy  mother  ! 

ELECTRA 

Dost  thou  teach  piety  ? 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Thou  hast  a  mannish  soul,  a  heart  puffed  up ;  but, 
tamed  by  suffering,  shalt  thou  learn  to  play  a 
woman's  part. 

ELECTRA 

If  perchance,  I  mistake  not,  a  sword  befits  a 
woman. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

And  thinkest  thou,  mad  one,  thou  art  a  match 
for  us  ? 

ELECTRA 

For  you  ?  What  other  Agamemnon  is  that  of 
thine  ?  Speak  thou  as  widow  ;  lifeless  is  thy  lord. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

The  unbridled  tongue  of  an  unfilial  girl  hereafter 
as  queen  I'll  check  ;  meanwhile  be  quick  and  tell 
where  is  my  son,  where  is  thy  brother. 

1  i.e.  surely  no  one,  since  I  am  thy  child. 

81 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

ELECTRA 


Extra  Mycenas. 


CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Redde  nunc  natum  mihi. 

ELECTRA 

Et  tu  parentem  redde. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Quo  latitat  loco  ? 

ELECTRA 

Tuto  quietus,  regna  non  metuens  nova  ; 
iustae  parent!  satis. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

At  iratae  parum.  970 

morieris  liodie. 

ELECTRA 

Dummodo  hac  moriar  manu. 
recedo  ab  aris.      sive  te  iugulo  iuvat 
mersisse  ferrum,  praebeo  iugulum  tibi ; 
seu  more  pecudum  colla  resecari  placet, 
intenta  cervix  vulnus  expectat  tuum. 
scelus  paratum  est ;  caede  respersam  viri 
atque  obsoletam  sanguine  hoc  dextram  ablue. 


CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Consors  pericli  pariter  ac  regni  mei, 
Aegisthe,  gradere.     nata  genetricem  impie 
probris  lacessit,  occulit  fratrem  abditum.  980 

82 


AGAMEMNON 

ELECTRA 

Far  from  Mycenae. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Restore  me  now  my  son. 

ELECTRA 

And  do  thou  restore  my  father. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Where  does  he  hide  ? 

ELECTRA 

In  peace  and  safety,  where  he  fears  no  new-made 
king ;  for  a  righteous  mother  'tis  enough. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

But  too  little  for  an  angry  one.  Thou  shalt  die 
this  day. 

ELECTRA 

So  but  it  be  by  this  hand  of  thine.  I  leave  the 
altar.  If  'tis  thy  pleasure  in  my  throat  to  plunge 
the  sword,  1  offer  my  throat  to  thee ;  or  if,  as  men 
smite  sheep,  thou  wouldst  cut  off  my  neck,  my  bent 
neck  waits  thy  stroke.  The  crime  is  ready  ;  thy 
right  hand,  smeared  and  rank  with  a  husband's 
slaughter,  purge  with  this  blood  of  mine. 

[Enter  AEGISTHUS.] 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Thou  partner  equally  in  my  perils  and  my  throne, 
Aegisthus,  come.  My  child  undutifully  insults  her 
mother,  and  keeps  her  brother  hidden. 

83 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

AEGISTHVS 

Furibunda  virgo,  vocis  infandae  sonurn 
et  aure  verba  indigna  materna  opprime. 

ELECTRA 

Etiam  monebit  sceleris  infandi  artifex, 
per  scelera  natus,  nomen  ambiguum  suis, 
idem  sororis  natus  et  patris  nepos  ? 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Aegisthe,  cessas  impium  ferro  caput 
demetere  ?     fratrem  reddat  aut  animam  statim. 

AEGISTHVS 

Abstrusa  caeco  carcere  et  saxo  exigat 
aevum,  et  per  omnes  torta  poenarum  modos 
referre  quern  nunc  occulit  forsan  volet.  990 

inops  egens  inclusa,  paedore  obruta, 
vidua  ante  thalamos,  exul,  invisa  omnibus 
aethere  negate  sero  subcumbet  malis. 

ELECTRA 

Concede  mortem. 

AEGISTHVS 

Si  recusares,  darem. 
rudis  est  tyrannus  morte  qui  poenam  exigit. 

ELECTRA 

Mortem  aliquid  ultra  est* 
84 


AGAMEMNON 

AEGISTHUS 

Mad  girl,  hold  thy  impious  tongue,  and  speak  not 
words  unworthy  thy  mother's  ears. 

ELECTRA 

Shall  he  e'en  give  instructions,  the  worker  of  an 
impious  crime,  one  criminally  begot,  whom  even  his 
own  parents  cannot  name,  son  of  his  sister,  grandson 
of  his  sire  ? 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Aegisthus,  why  dost  hesitate  to  strike  off  her 
wicked  head  with  the  sword  ?  Let  her  at  once  give 
up  her  brother  or  her  life. 

AEGISTHUS 

Mured  in  a  dark,  rocky  dungeon  shall  she  spend 
her  life  and,  by  all  kinds  of  tortures  racked,  perchance 
she  will  consent  to  give  back  him  she  now  conceals. 
Resourceless,  starving,  in  prison  pent,  buried  in  filth, 
widowed  ere  wedded,  in  exile,  scorned  by  all,  denied 
the  light  of  day,  then  will  she,  though  too  late,  yield 
to  her  doom. 

ELECTRA 

Oh,  grant  me  death. 

AEGISTHUS 

Shouldst  plead  against,  I'd  grant.  An  unskilled 
tyrant  he  who  punishes  by  death. 

ELECTRA 

Is  aught  worse  than  death  ? 

85 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

AEGISTHVS 

Vita,  si  cupias  niori. 

abripite,  famuli,  monstrum  et  avectam  procul 
ultra  Mycenas  ultimo  in  regni  angulo 
vincite  saeptam  nocte  tenebrosi  specus, 
ut  inquietam  virginem  career  domet.  100<; 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

At  ista  poeiias  capite  persolvet  suo 
captiva  coniunx,  regii  paelex  tori, 
trahite,  ut  sequatur  coniugem  ereptum  mihi. 

CASSANDRA 

Ne  trahite,  vestros  ipsa  praecedam  gradus. 
perferre  prima  nuntium  Phrygibus  meis 
propero — repletum  ratibus  eversis  mare, 
captas  Mycenas,  mille  ductorem  ducum, 
ut  paria  fata  Troicis  lueret  malis, 
perisse  dono  feminae — stupro,  dolo. 
nihil  moramur,  rapite,  quin  grates  ago.  1010 

iam,  iam  iuvat  vixisse  post  Troiam,  iuvat. 

CLYTAEMNESTRA 

Furiosa,  morere. 

CASSANDRA 

Vreniet  et  vobis  furor. 


AGAMEMNON 

AEGISTHUS 

Yes,  life,  if  thou  longest  to  die.  Away,  ye  slaves, 
with  this  unnatural  girl ;  far  from  Mycenae  bear  her, 
and  in  the  remotest  corner  of  the  realm  chain  her 
immured  in  the  black  darkness  of  a  cell,  that  prison 
walls  may  curb  the  unmanageable  maid.  [ELECTRA 
is  dragged  away.] 

CLYTEMNESTRA  [indicating  CASSANDRA] 

But  she  shall  pay  her  penalty  with  death,  that 
captive  bride,  that  mistress  of  the  royal  bed.  Drag 
her  away,  that  she  may  follow  the  husband  whom  she 
stole  from  me. 

CASSANDRA 

Nay,  drag  me  not,  I  will  precede  your  going.  I 
hasten  to  be  first  to  bear  news  unto  my  Phrygians — 
of  the  sea  covered  with  the  wrecks  of  ships,  of 
Mycenae  taken,  of  the  leader  of  a  thousand  leaders 
(that  so  he  might  meet  doom  equal  to  Troy's  woes) 
slain  by  a  woman's  gift — by  adultery,  by  guile.  Take 
me  away ;  I  hold  not  back,  but  rather  give  you 
thanks.  Now,  now  'tis  sweet  to  have  outlived  Troy, 
'tis  sweet. 

CLYTEMNESTRA 

Mad  creature,  thou  shalt  die. 

CASSANDRA 

On  you,  as  well,  a  madness  is  to  come.1 

1  Referring  to  the  madness  of  Orestes,  who  is  later  to  slay 
both  Aegisthus  and  Clytemnestra. 


THYESTES 


DRAMATIS   PERSONAE 


THYESTES,  brother  of  Atreus,  in  exile  from  his  fatherland. 

THE  GHOST  OF  TANTALUS,  doomed  for  his  sing  to  come  back  to 
earth  and  inspire  his  house  to  greater  sin. 

THE  FURY,  who  drives  the  ghost  on  to  do  his  allotted  part. 

ATREUS,    king    of  Argot,    grandson   of    Tantalus,   who  has 
quarrelled  with  his  brother  and  driven  him  into  exile. 

AN  ATTENDANT  OF  ATREUS. 

THREE  SONS  OF  THYESTES,  Tantalus,  Plisthenes,  and  another, 
only  one  of  whom,  Tantalus,  takes  part  in  the  dialogue. 

A  MESSENGER. 

CHORUS,  Citizens  of  Mycenae. 

THE  SCENE  is  laid  partly  without  the  city  of  Argos,  and 
partly  within  the  royal  palace. 


ARGUMENT 

PELOPS,  the  son  of  Tantalus,  had  banished  his  sons  for 
the  murder  of  their  half-brother,  Chi-ysippus,  with  a 
curse  upon  them,  that  they  and  their  posterity  might 
perish  by  each  others'  hands.  Upon  the  death  of  Pelops, 
Atreus  returned  and  took  possession  of  his  father  s 
throne.  Thyestes,  also,  claimed  the  throne,  and  sought  to 
&am  it  by  the  foulest  means.  For  he  seduced  his 
brother  s  wife,  Acrope,  and  stole  by  her  assistance  the 
magical,  gold-Jleeced  ram  from  Atreus'  flocks,  upon  the 
possession  of  which  the  right  to  rule  was  said  to  rest. 
For  this  act  he  was  banished  by  the  king. 

But  Atreus  has  long  been  meditating  a  more  complete 
revenge  upon  his  brother  ;  and  now  in  pretended  friend- 
ship has  recalled  him  from  banishment,  offering  him  a 
place  beside  himself  upon  the  throne,  that  thus  he  may 
have  Thyestes  entirely  in  his  power. 


THYESTES 

TANTALI     VMBRA 

Quis  inferorum  sede  ab  infausta  extrahit 
avido  fugaces  ore  captantem  cibos, 
quis  male  deorum  Tantaio  vivas  l  domos 
ostendit  iterum  ?     peius  inventura  est  siti 
arente  in  undis  aliquid  et  peius  fame 
hiante  semper  ?     Sisyphi  numquid  lapis 
gestandus  umeris  lubricus  nostris  venit 
aut  membra  celeri  differens  cursu  rota, 
aut  poena  Tityi  qui  specu  vasto  patens 
visceribus  atras  pascit  effossis  aves  10 

et  nocte  reparans  quidquid  amisit  die 
plenum  recenti  pabulum  monstro  iacet  ? 
in  quod  malum  transcribor  ?     o  quisquis  nova 
supplicia  functis  durus  umbrarum  arbiter 
disponis,  addi  si  quid  ad  poenas  potest 
quod  ipse  custos  carceris  diri  horreat, 
quod  maestus  Acheron  paveat,  ad  cuius  metum 
nos  quoque  tremamus,  quaere,     iam  nostra  subit 
e  stirpe  turba  quae  suum  vincat  genus 
ac  me  innocentem  faciat  et  inausa  audeat.  20 

regione  quidquid  impia  cessat  loci 
complebo  ;   numquam  stante  Pelopea  domo 
Minos  .vacabit. 

1  So  A  :  too  visas,  with  E :  invisas  N.  Heinsius. 
92 


THYESTES 

THE    GHOST    OF   TANTALUS 

WHO  from  the  accursed  regions  of  the  dead  haleth 
me  forth,  snatching  at  food  which  ever  fleeth  from 
my  hungry  lips  ?  What  god  for  his  undoing  showeth 
again  to  Tantalus  the  abodes  of  the  living  ?  Hath 
something  worse  been  found  than  parching  thirst 
midst  water,  worse  than  ever-gaping  hunger  ?  Cometh 
the  slippery  stone  of  Sisyphus  to  be  borne  upon  my 
shoulders  ?  or  the  wheel l  stretching  apart  my  limbs 
in  its  swift  round  ?  or  Tityus'  pangs,  who,  stretched 
in  a  huge  cavern,  with  torn  out  vitals  feeds  the  dusky 

O  . 

birds  and,  by  night  renewing  whate'er  he  lost  by  day, 
lies  an  undiminished  banquet  for  new  monsters  ? 
To  what  new  suffering  am  I  shifted  ?  O  whoe'er  thou 
art,  harsh  judge  of  shades,  who  dost  allot  fresh  pun- 
ishments to  the  dead,  if  aught  can  be  added  to  my 
sufferings  whereat  e'en  the  guardian  of  our  dread 
prison-house  would  quake,  whereat  sad  Acheron  would 
be  seized  with  dread,  with  fear  whereof  1,  too,  should 
tremble,  seek  thou  it  out.  Now  from  my  seed  a 
multitude  is  coming  up  which  its  own  race  shall 
out-do,  which  shall  make  me  seem  innocent,  and 
dare  things  yet  undared.  Whatever  space  is  still 
empty  in  the  unholy  realm,  I  2  shall  fill  up ;  never, 
while  Pelops'  house  is  standing,  will  Minos8  be  at 

rest. 

1  Of  Ixion.          a  i.e.  with  my  descendants. 
8  A  judge  in  Hades. 

93 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

FVKIA 

Perge,  detestabilis 
umbra,  et  penates  impios  furiis  age. 
certetur  omni  scelere  et  alterna  vice 
stringatur  ensis  ;  ne  sit  irarum  modus 
pudorve,  mentes  caecus  instiget  furor, 
rabies  parentum  duret  et  longum  nefas 
eat  in  nepotes  ;  nee  vacet  cuiquam  vetus 
odisse  crimen — semper  oriatur  novum,  SO 

nee  unum  in  uno,  dumque  punitur  seel  us, 
crescat.     superbis  fratribus  regna  excidant 
repetantque  profugos ;  dubia  violentae  domus 
fortuna  reges  inter  incertos  labet ; 
miser  ex  potente  fiat,  ex  misero  potens 
fluctuque  regnum  casus  assiduo  ferat. 
ob  scelera  pulsi,  cum  dabit  patriam  deus 
in  scelera  redeant,  sintque  tarn  invisi  omnibus, 
quam  sibi  ;  nihil  sit  ira  quod  vetitum  putet : 
fratrem  expavescat  frater  et  natum  parens  40 

natusque  patrem,  liberi  pereant  male, 
peius  tamen  nascantur  ;  immineat  viro 
infesta  coniunx,  bella  trans  pontum  vehant, 
effusus  omnes  irriget  terras  cruor, 
supraque  magnos  gentium  exultet  duces 
Libido  victrix.     impia  stuprum  in  domo 
levissimum  sit ;  fratris  et  fas  et  fides 
iusque  omne  pereat.     non  sit  a  vestris  malis 
immune  caelum — cur  micant  stellae  polo 
flammaeque  servant  debitum  mundo  decus  ?  50 


1  Let  the  brothers,  Atreus  and  Thyestes,  reign,  fall,  be 
exiled  and  recalled,  each  in  turn.  In  the  present  case  Atreus 
94 


THYESTES 

THE    FURY 

Onward,  damned  shade,  and  goad  thy  sinful  house 
to  madness.  Let  there  be  rivalry  in  guilt  of  every 
kind  ;  let  the  sword  be  drawn  on  this  side  and  on 
that ;  let  their  passions  know  no  bounds,  no  shame ; 
let  blind  fury  prick  on  their  souls ;  heartless  be 
parents'  rage,  and  to  children's  children  let  the  long 
trail  of  sin  lead  down ;  let  time  be  given  to  none  to 
hate  old  sins — ever  let  new  arise,  many  in  one,  and 
let  crime,  e'en  midst  its  punishment,  increase.  From 
haughty  brothers'  hands  let  kingdoms  fall,  and  in 
turn  let  them  call  back  the  fugitives  ; l  let  the  waver- 
ing fortune  of  a  home  of  violence  midst  changing 
kings  totter  to  its  fall ;  from  power  to  wretchedness, 
from  wretchedness  to  power — may  this  befall,  and 
may  chance  with  her  ever-restless  waves  bear  the 
kingdom  on.  For  crimes'  sake  exiled,  when  God 
shall  bring  them  home,  to  crime  may  they  return, 
and  may  they  be  as  hateful  to  all  men  as  to  them- 
selves ;  let  there  be  naught  which  passion  deems  un- 
allowed ;  let  brother  brother  fear,  father  fear  son, 
and  son  father ;  let  children  vilely  perish  and  be  yet 
more  vilely  born ;  let  a  murderous  wife  lift  hand 
against  her  husband,  let  wars  pass  over  sea,  let 
streaming  blood  drench  every  land,  and  over  the 
mighty  chiefs  of  earth  let  Lust  exult,  triumphant. 
In  this  sin-stained  house  let  shameful  defilement  be 
a  trivial  thing ;  let  fraternal  sanctity  and  faith  and 
every  right  be  trampled  under  foot.  By  our  sins  let 
not  heaven  be  untainted — why  do  the  stars  glitter  in 
the  sky  ?  Why  do  their  fires  preserve  the  glory  due 
the  world?  Let  the  face  of  night  be  changed,  let 

is  on  the  throne,  and  Thyestes,  who  has   been    exiled,    is 
recalled. 

95 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

nox  alia  fiat,  excidat  caelo  dies, 
misce  penates,  odia  caedes  funera 
arcesse  et  imple  Tantalo  totam  domum.1 
Ornetur  altum  columen  et  lauro  fores 
laetae  virescant,  dignus  adventu  tuo 
splendescat  ignis — Thracium  fiat  nefas 
maiore  numero.     dextra  cur  patrui  vacat? 
nondum  Thyestes  liberos  deflet  suos — 
et  quando  toilet?     ignibus  iam  subditis 
spument  aena,  membra  per  partes  eant  60 

discerpta,  patrios  polluat  sanguis  focos, 
epulae  instruantur — non  novi  sceleris  tibi 
conviva  venies.     liberum  dedimus  diem 
tuamque  ad  istas  solvimus  mensas  famem  ; 
ieiunia  exple,  mixtus  in  Bacchum  cruor 
spectante  te  potetur  ;  inveni  dapes 
quas  ipse  fugeres — siste,  quo  praeceps  ruis  ? 


TANTALI    VMBRA 

Ad  stagna  et  amnes  et  recedentes  aquas 
labrisque  ab  ipsis  arboris  plenae  fugas. 
abire  in  atrum  carceris  liceat  mei  70 

cubile,  liceat,  si  parum  videor  miser, 
mutare  ripas  ;  alveo  medius  tuo, 
Phlegethon,  relinquar  igneo  cinctus  freto. 

Quicumque  poenas  lege  fatorum  datas 
pati  iuberis,  quisquis  exeso  iaces 
pavidus  sub  antro  iamque  venturi  times 
montis  ruinam,  quisquis  avidorum  feros 
rictus  leonum  et  dira  Furiarum  agmina 

1  imple  scelere  Tantaleam  domum  A. 

1  Procne  and  her  wronged  sister,    Philomela,   served    up 
Itys  as  a  banquet  to  his  father,  Tereus,  king  of  Thrace. 
a  i.e.  with  the  murder  of  three  sons  instead  of  one. 

96 


THYESTES 

day  fall  from  heaven.  Embroil  thy  household  gods, 
summon  up  hatred,  slaughter,  death,  and  fill  the 
whole  house  with  Tantalus. 

64  Adorn  the  lofty  pillar  and  with  laurel  let  the 
festal  doors  be  green  ;  let  torches  worthy  of  thine 
approach  shine  forth — then  let  the  Thracian  crime1 
be  done  with  greater  number.2  Why  is  the  uncle's8 
hand  inactive  ?  Not  yet  does  Thyestes  bewail  his 
sons — and  when  will  he  lift  his  hand  ?  Now  set  o'er 
the  flames  let  cauldrons  foam  ;  let  the  rent  members 
one  by  one  pass  in  ;  let  the  ancestral  hearth  be  stained 
with  blood,  let  the  feast  be  spread — to  no  novel  feast 
of  crime4  wilt  come  as  banqueter.  To-day  have  we 
made  thee  free,  have  loosed  thy  hunger  to  the  banquet 
yonder;  go,  feed  full  thy  fasting,  and  let  blood,  with 
wine  commingled,  be  drunk  before  thine  eyes.  I 
have  found  feast  which  thou  thvself  wouldst  flee — 

•/ 

but  stay  !     Whither  dost  headlong  rush  ? 

GHOST    OF    TANTALUS 

Back  to  my  pools  and  streams  and  fleeing  waters, 
back  to  the  laden  tree  which  shuns  my  very  lips. 
Let  me  return  to  the  black  couch  of  my  prison-house; 
let  it  be  mine,  if  I  seem  too  little  wretched,  to  change 

'  O 

my  stream  ;  in  thy  bed's  midst,  O  Phlegethon,  let 
me  be  left,  hemmed  round  with  waves  of  fire. 

74  Whoe'er  thou  art,  by  the  fates'  law  bidden  to 
suffer  allotted  punishment;  whoe'er  liest  quaking 
beneath  the  hollowed  rock,  and  fearest  the  downfall 
of  the  mountainous  mass  even  now  coming  on  thee  ;5 
whoe'er  shudderest  at  the  fierce  gaping  of  greedy 
lions,  and,  entangled  in  their  toils,  dost  shudder  at 

8  i.e.  Atreus.  4  See  Index  s. v.  Pelops. 

5  A  common  conception  of  punishment  in  Hades.  See 
Vergil,  Aen.  vi.  601. 

97 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

implicitus  horres,  quisquis  immissas  faces 

semiustus  abigis,  Tantali  vocem  excipe  80 

properantis  ad  vos  :  credite  experto  milii, 

amate  poenas.     quando  continget  rnihi 

effugere  superos  ? 

FVRIA 

Ante  perturba  domum 
inferque  tecum  proelia  et  ferri  maluni 
regibus  amorern,  concute  insano  ferum 
pectus  tumultu. 

TANTALI    VMBRA 

Me  pati  poenas  decet, 
non  esse  poenam.     mittor  ut  dirus  vapor 
tellure  rupta  vel  gravera  populis  luem 
sparsura  pestis,  ducam  in  horrendum  nefas 
avus  nepotes.     magne  divorum  parens  90 

nosterque,  quamvis  pudeat,  ingenti  licet 
taxata  poena  lingua  crucietur  loquax, 
nee  hoc  tacebo;  moneo,  ne  sacra1  manus 
violate  caede  neve  furiali  malo 
aspergite  aras.     stabo  et  arcebo  scelus — 
Quid  ora  terres  verbere  et  tortos  ferox 
minaris  angues  ?     quid  fameni  infixam  intimis 
agitas  medullis  ?     flagrat  incensura  siti 
cor  et  perustis  flamma  visceribus  micat — 
sequor.2  100 

FVRIA 

Hunc,  hunc  furorem  divide  in  totam  domum  ' 
sic,  sic  ferantur  et  suum  infensi  invicem 
sitiant  cruorem.     sentit  introitus  tuos 

1  So  A  :  Leo  sacras.          3  Leo  deletes  this  word. 
98 


THYESTES 

the  dread  ranks  of  furies;  whoe'er,  half  burned, 
shunnest  their  threatening  torches,  hear  ye  the  words 
of  Tantalus  now  hasting  to  you:  believe  me  who 
know,  and  love  your  punishments.  Oh,  when  shall 
it  fall  to  me  to  escape  the  upper  world  ? 

THE    FURY 

First  throw  thy  house  into  confusion  dire,  bring 
strife  with  thee,  bring  lust  for  the  sword,  an  evil 
thing  for  rulers,  and  rouse  to  mad  passion  the  savage 
breast. 

GHOST    OF    TANTALUS 

'Tis  meet  for  me  to  suffer  punishments,  not  be  a 
punishment.  I  am  sent  as  some  deadly  exhalation 
from  the  riven  earth,  or  as  a  pestilence,  spreading 
grievous  plague  among  the  people,  that  I  a  grandsire 
may  lead  my  grandsons  into  fearful  crime.  O  mighty 
sire  of  gods,  my  father,  too,  however  to  thy  shame  I 
say  it,  though  to  cruel  punishment  my  tattling  tongue 
be  doomed,  I  will  not  hold  my  peace;  I  warn  ye,  de- 
file not  your  hands  with  accursed  slaughter,  nor  stain 
your  altars  with  a  madman's  crime.  Here  will  I  stand 
and  prevent  the  evil  deed.  [To  THE  FURY.]  Why 
with  thy  scourge  dost  fright  mine  eyes,  and  fiercely 
threaten  with  thy  writhing  snakes?  Why  deep  in 
my  inmost  marrow  dost  rouse  hunger  pains?  My 
heart  is  parched  with  burning  thirst,  and  in  my 
scorched  vitals  the  fire  is  darting — I  follow  thee. 

THE    FURY 

This,  this  very  rage  of  thine  distribute  throughout 
thy  house !  So,  e'en  as  thou,  may  they  be  driven  on, 
raging  to  quench  their  thirst  each  in  the  other's 
blood.  Thy  house  feels  thy  near  approach,  and  has 

99 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

domus  et  nefando  tota  contactu  horruit. 

actum  est  abunde  !     gradere  ad  infernos  specus 

amnemque  notum ;  iam  tuum  raaestae  pedem 

terrae  gravantur.     cernis  ut  fontes  liquor 

introrsus  actus  linquat,  ut  ripae  vacant 

ventusque  raras  igneus  nubes  ferat? 

pallescit  omnis  arbor  ac  nudus  stetit  110 

fugiente  porno  ramus,  et  qua  fluctibus 

illinc  propinquis  Isthmos  atque  illinc  fremit 

vicina  gracili  dividens  terra  vada, 

longe  remotos  litus  exaudit  sonos. 

iam  Lerna  retro  cessit  et  Phoronides 

latuere  venae  nee  suas  profert  sacer 

Alpheos  undas  et  Cithaeronis  iuga 

stant  parte  nulla  cana  deposita  nive 

timentque  veterem  nobiles  Argi  sitim. 

en  ipse  Titan  dubitat  an  iubeat  sequi  120 

cogatque  habenis  ire  periturum  diem. 

CHORVS 

Argos  de  superis  si  quis  Acliaicum 
Pisaeasque  domos  curribus  inclitas, 
Isthmi  si  quis  amat  regna  Corinthii 
et  portus  geminos  et  mare  dissidens, 
si  quis  Taygeti  conspicuas  nives, 
quas  cum  Sarmaticus  tempore  frigido 
in  summis  Boreas  composuit  iugis, 
aestas  veliferis  solvit  Etesiis, 
quern  tangit  gelido  flumine  lucidus  130 

Alpheos,  stadio  notus  Olympico, 
advertat  placidum  numen  et  arceat, 
alternae  scelerum  ne  redeant  vices 
nee  succedat  avo  deterior  nepos 

100 


THYESTES 

shrunk  in  utter  horror  from  thine  accursed  touch. 
Enough  !  more  than  enough  !  Go  thou  to  the  infernal 
caves  and  well-known  stream  ;  now  is  the  grieving 
earth  weary  of  thy  presence.  Seest  thou  how  the 
water,  driven  far  within,  deserts  the  springs,  how 
river  banks  are  empty,  how  the  fiery  wind  drives 
away  the  scattered  clouds  ?  Every  tree  grows  pale, 
and  from  the  bare  branches  the  fruit  has  fled ;  and 
where  this  side  and  that  the  Isthmus  is  wont  to  roar 
with  neighbouring  waves,  dividing  near  seas  with 
narrow  neck  of  land,  the  shore  but  faintly  hears  the 
far  off  sound.  Now  Lerna  has  shrunk  back,  the 
Phoronean  stream  l  has  disappeared,  the  sacred  Al- 
pheus  no  longer  bears  his  waters  on,  Cithaeron's 
heights  have  lost  their  snows  and  nowhere  stand 
hoary  now,  and  the  lordly  Argos  fears  its  ancient 
drought.2  Lo  !  Titan  himself  stands  doubtful  whether 

O 

to  bid  day  follow  on,  and,  plying  the  reins,  compel 
it  to  come  forth  to  its  undoing. 

CHORUS 

If  any  god  loves  Achaian  Argos  and  Pisa's  homes 
renowned  for  chariots ;  if  any  loves  Corinthian 
Isthmus'  realm,  its  twin  harbours,  its  dissevered 
sea ;  if  any,  the  far-seen  snows  of  Mount  Taygetus, 
snows  which,  when  in  winter-time  the  Sarmatian 
blasts  have  laid  them  on  the  heights,  the  summer 
with  its  sail-filling  Etesian  breezes  melts  away ;  if 
any  is  moved  by  the  cool,  clear  stream  of  Alpheus, 
famed  for  its  Olympic  course — let  him  his  kindly 
godhead  hither  turn,  let  him  forbid  the  recurrent 
waves  of  crime  to  come  again,  forbid  that  on  his 
grandsire  follow  a  worse  grandson,  and  greater  crime 

1  i.e.  the  river  Inachus. 

?  i.e.  in  the  time  of  Phaethon. 

101 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

et  maior  placeat  culpa  minoribus. 

tandem  lassa  feros  exuat  impetus 

sicci  progenies  impia  Tan  tali. 

peccatum  satis  est ;  fas  valuit  nihil 

aut  commune  nefas.      proditus  occidit 

deceptor  domini  Myrtilus,  et  fide  140 

vectus  qua  tulerat  nobile  reddidit 

mutato  pelagus  nomine  ;  notior 

nulla  est  loniis  labula  navibus. 

exceptus  gladio  parvulus  impio 

dum  currit  patrium  natus  ad  osculum, 

immatura  focis  victima  concidit 

divisusque  tua  est,  Tan  tale,  dextera, 

mensas  ut  strueres  hospitibus  dels. 

hos  aeterna  fames  persequitur  cibos, 

hos  aeterna  sitis  ;  nee  dapibus  feris  150 

decerni  potuit  poena  decentior. 

Stat    lassus  vacuo  gutture  Tantalus  ; 
impendet  capiti  plurima  noxio 
Phineis  avibus  praeda  fugacior  ; 
hinc  illinc  gravidis  frondibus  incubat 
et  curvata  suis  fetibus  ac  tremens 
alludit  patulis  arbor  hiatibus. 
haec,  quamvis  avidus  nee  patiens  morae, 
deceptus  totiens  tangere  neglegit 
obliquatque  oculos  oraque  comprimit  160 

inclusisque  famem  dentibus  alligat. 
sed  tune  divitias  omne  nemus  suas 
demittit  propius  pomaque  desuper 
insultant  foliis  mitia  languidis 
accenduntque  famem,  quae  iubet  irritas 

1  A  retention  of  the  rhetorical  element  in  this  line  results 
in  an  obscurity  impossible  to  avoid  in  English.  The  meaning 
is  :  Let  not  the  descendants  (minoribus)  do  worse  sin  than 
their  ancestor. 

102 


THYESTES 

please  lesser  men.1  Wearied  at  last,  may  the  impious 
race  of  thirsty  Tantalus  give  o'er  its  lust  for  savagery. 
Enough  sin  has  been  wrought ;  nothing  has  right 
availed,  or  general  wrong.  Himself  betrayed,  fell 
Myrtilus,  betrayer  of  his  lord,  and,  dragged  down 
by  the  faith  which  he  bad  shown,  he  made  a  sea 2 
famous  by  its  change  of  name ;  to  Ionian  ships  no 
tale  is  better  known.  While  the  little  son  3  ran  to 
his  father's  kiss,  welcomed  by  sinful  sword,  he  fell, 
an  untimely  victim  at  the  hearth,  and  by  thy  right 
hand  was  carved,  O  Tantalus,  that  thou  mightest 
spread  a  banquet  for  the  gods,  thy  guests.  Such 
food  eternal  hunger,  such  eternal  thirst  pursues ; 
nor  for  such  bestial  viands  could  have  been  meted 
penalty  more  fit. 

152  Weary,  with  empty  throat,  stands  Tantalus ; 
above  his  guilty  head  hangs  food  in  plenty,  than 
Phineus' 4  birds  more  elusive;  on  either  side,  with 
laden  boughs,  a  tree  leans  over  him  and,  bending 
and  trembling  'neath  its  weight  of  fruit,  makes  sport 
with  his  wide-straining  jaws.  The  prize,  though  he 
is  eager  and  impatient  of  delay,  deceived  so  oft,  he 
tries  no  more  to  touch,  turns  away  his  eyes,  shuts 
tight  his  lips,  and  behind  clenched  teeth  he  bars  his 
hunger.  But  then  the  whole  grove  lets  its  riches 
down  nearer  still,  and  the  mellow  fruits  above  his 
head  mock  him  with  drooping  boughs  and  whet 
again  the  hunger,  which  bids  him  ply  his  hands  in 

a  The  Myrtoan  sea,  that  portion  of  the  Aegean  south  of 
Kuboea.  The  name  is  here  fancifully  derived  from  Myrtilus. 
For  the  whole  incident  see  Index- 

8  Pelops.         4  The  Harpies. 

103 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

exercere  manus.      has  ubi  protulit 

et  falli  libuit,  totus  in  arduum 

autunmus  rapitur  silvaque  mobilis. 

instat  deinde  sitis  non  levior  fame  ; 

qua  cum  percaluit  sanguis  et  igneis  170 

exarsit  facibus,  stat  miser  obvios 

fluctus  ore  petens,  quos  profugus  latex 

avertit  sterili  deficiens  vado 

conantemque  sequi  deserit ;  hie  bibit 

altum  de  rapido  gurgite  pulverem. 

ATREVS 

Ignave,  iners,  enervis  et  (quod  maximum 
probrum  tyranno  rebus  in  summis  reor) 
inulte,  post  tot  scelera,  post  f'ratris  dolos 
fasque  omne  ruptum  questibus  vanis  agis 
iratus  Atreus  ?     fremere  iam  totus  tuis  180 

debebat  armis  orbis  et  geminum  mare 
utrimque  classes  agere,  iam  flammis  agros 
lucere  et  urbes  decuit  ac  strictum  undique 
micare  ferrum.     tota  sub  nostro  sonet 
Argolica  tellus  equite  ;  non  silvae  tegant 
hostem  nee  altis  montium  structae  iugis 
arces  ;  relictis  bellicum  totus  canat 
populus  Mycenis,  quisquis  invisum  caput 
tegit  ac  tuetur,  clade  funesta  occidat. 
haec  ipsa  pollens  incliti  Pelopis  domus  190 

ruat  vel  in  me,  dummodo  in  fratrem  ruat. 
age,  anime,  fac  quod  nulla  posteritas  probet, 
sed  nulla  tacent.     aliquod  audendum  est  nefas 
atrox,  cruentum,  tale  quod  frater  meus 
suum  esse  mallet,     scelera  non  ulcisceris, 
nisi  vincis.     et  quid  esse  tarn  saevum  potest 

1  Not  because  he  failed,  but  because  he  almost  succeeded 
104 


THYESTES 

vain.  When  lie  has  stretched  these  forth  and  gladly  l 
has  been  baffled,  the  whole  ripe  harvest  of  the  bending 
woods  is  snatched  far  out  of  reach.  Then  comes  a 
raging  thirst,  harder  to  bear  than  hunger;  when  by 
this  his  blood  has  grown  hot  and  glowed  as  with 
fiery  torches,  the  poor  wretch  stands  catching  at 
waves  that  seem  to  approach  his  lips ;  but  these  the 
elusive  water  turns  aside,  failing  in  meagre  shallows, 
and  leaves  him  utterly,  striving  to  pursue ;  then  deep 
from  the  whirling  stream  he  drinks — but  dust. 

ATREUS  [in  soliloquy] 

O  undaring,  unskilled,  unnerved,  and  (what  in 
high  matters  I  deem  a  king's  worst  reproach)  yet 
unavenged,  after  so  many  crimes,  after  a  brother's 
treacheries,  and  all  right  broken  down,  in  idle  com- 
plaints dost  busy  thyself — a  mere  wrathful  Atreus? 
By  now  should  the  whole  world  be  resounding  with 
thy  arms,  on  either  side  thy  fleets  be  harrying  both 
seas ;  by  now  should  fields  and  cities  be  aglow  with 
flames  and  the  drawn  sword  be  gleaming  everywhere. 
Let  the  whole  land  of  Argolis  resound  with  our 
horses'  tread  ;  let  no  forests  shelter  my  enemy,  nor 
citadels,  built  on  high  mountain  tops ;  let  the  whole 
nation  leave  Mycenae  and  sound  the  trump  of  war ; 
and  whoso  hides  and  protects  that  hateful  head,  let 
him  die  a  grievous  death.  This  mighty  palace  itself, 
illustrious  Pelops'  house,  may  it  e'en  fall  on  me,  if 
only  on  my  brother,  too,  it  fall.  Up !  my  soul,  do 
what  no  coming  age  shall  approve,  but  none  forget. 
I  must  dare  some  crime,  atrocious,  bloody,  such  as 
my  brother  would  more  wish  were  his.  Crimes  thou 
dost  not  avenge,  save  as  thou  dost  surpass  them. 
And  what  crime  can  be  so  dire  as  to  overtop  his  sin  ? 

105 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quod  superet  ilium  ?     numquid  abiectus  iacet  ? 

numquid  secundis  patitur  in  rebus  modum, 

fessis  quietem  ?     novi  ego  ingenium  viri 

indocile  ;  flecti  non  potest — frangi  potest.  200 

proinde  antequam  se  firmat  aut  vires  parat, 

petatur  ultro,  ne  quiescentem  petat. 

aut  perdet  aut  peribit ;  in  medio  est  scelus 

positum  occupanti. 

8ATELLES 

Fama  te  populi  nihil 
adversa  terret  ? 

ATREVS 

Maximum  hoc  regni  bonum  est, 
quod  facta  domini  cogitur  populus  sui 
tarn  ferre  quam  laudare. 

SATELLES 

Quos  cogit  metus 

laudare,  eosdem  reddit  inimicos  metus. 
at  qui  favoris  gloriam  veri  petit, 
animo  magis  quam  voce  laudari  volet.  210 

ATREVS 

Laus  vera  et  humili  saepe  contingit  viro, 
non  nisi  potenti  falsa,      quod  nolunt  velint. 

SATELLES 

Rex  velit  honesta :  nemo  non  eadem  volet. 

ATREVS 

Vbicumque  tantum  honesta  dominant!  licent, 
precario  regnatur. 

106 


THYESTES 

Does  he  lie  downcast?  Does  he  in  prosperity  endure 
control,  rest  in  defeat?  I  know  the  untamable  spirit 
of  the  man  ;  bent  it  cannot  be — but  it  can  be  broken. 
Therefore,  ere  he  strengthen  himself  or  marshal  his 
powers,  we  must  begin  the  attack,  lest,  while  we 
wait,  the  attack  be  made  on  us.  Slay  or  be  slain  will 
he ;  between  us  lies  the  crime  for  him  who  first 
shall  do  it. 

ATTENDANT 

Does  public  disapproval  deter  thee  not? 

ATREUS 

The  greatest  advantage  this  of  royal  power,  that 
their  master's  deeds  the  people  are  compelled  as 
well  to  bear  as  praise. 

ATTENDANT 

Whom  fear  compels  to  praise,  them,  too,  fear  makes 
into  foes;  but  he  who  seeks  the  glory  of  true  favour, 
will  wish  heart  rather  than  voice  to  sing  his  praise. 

ATREUS 

True  praise  even  to  the  lowly  often  comes ;  false, 
only  to  the  strong.  What  men  choose  not,  let  them 
choose. 

ATTENDANT 

Let  a  king  choose  the  right ;  then  none  will  not 
choose  the  same. 

ATREUS 

Where  only  right  to  a  monarch  is  allowed,  sove- 
reignty is  held  on  sufferance. 

107 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

SATELLES 

Vbi  non  est  pudor 
nee  cura  iuris  sanctitas  pietas  fides, 
instabile  regnum  est. 

AT REVS 

Sanctitas  pietas  fides 
privata  bona  sunt ;  qua  iuvat  reges  eant. 

SATELLES 

Nefas  nocere  vel  malo  fratri  puta. 

ATREVS 

Fas  est  in  illo  quidquid  in  fratre  est  nefas.          220 
quid  enim  reliquit  crimine  intactum  aut  ubi 
sceleri  pepercit  ?     coniugeni  stupro  abstulit 
regnumque  furto  ;  specimen  antiquum  imperi 
fraude  est  adeptus,  fraude  turbavit  domum. 
est  Pelopis  altis  nobile  in  stabulis  pecus, 
arcanus  aries,  ductor  opulenti  gregis. 
huius  per  omne  corpus  effuso  coma 
dependet  auro,  cuius  e  tergo  l  novi 
aurata  reges  sceptra  Tantalici  gerunt ; 
possessor  huius  regnat,  hunc  tantae  domus  230 

fortuna  sequitur.     tuta  seposita  sacer 
in  parte  carpit  prata,  quae  claudit  lapis 
fatale  saxeo  pascuum  muro  tegens. 
hunc  facinus  ingens  ausus  assumpta  in  scelus 
consorte  iiostri  perfidus  thalami  avehit. 
hinc  omne  cladis  mutuae  fluxit  malum  ; 
per  regna  trepidus  exul  erravi  mea, 

1  Leo  conjectures  tracto  :    Wilamoivitz,  texto. 

1  A  ram  with  golden  fleece,  whose  possession,  according  to 
an  oracle,  guaranteed  possession  of  the  throne.  See  Index 
s.v.  Thyestes. 

108 


THYESTES 

ATTENDANT 

Where  is  no  shame,  no  care  for  right,  no  honour, 
virtue,  faith,  sovereignty  is  insecure. 

ATREUS 

Honour,  virtue,  faith  are  the  goods  of  common 
men  ;  let  kings  go  where  they  please. 

ATTENDANT 

O  count  it  wrong  to  harm  even  a  wicked  brother. 

ATREUS 

Whate'er  is  wrong  to  do  unto  a  brother  is  right  to 
do  to  him.  For  what  has  he  left  untouched  by 
crime,  or  where  has  he  failed  to  sin?  My  wife  has 
he  debauched,  my  kingdom  stolen ;  the  ancient 
token  l  of  our  dynasty  by  fraud  he  gained,  by  fraud 
o'erturned  our  house.  There  is  within  Pelops'  lofty 
folds  a  lordly  flock,  and  a  wondrous  ram,  the  rich 
flock's  leader.  O'er  all  his  body  a  fleece  of  spun 
gold  hangs,  and  from  his  back 2  the  new-crowned 
kings  of  the  house  of  Tantalus  have  their  sceptres 
wreathed  with  gold.  His  owner  rules;  him  does  the 
fortune  of  the  whole  house  follow.  Hallowed  and 
apart  he  grazes  in  safe  meadows  fenced  with  stone, 
that  guards  the  fated  pasture  with  its  rocky  wall.  Him 
did  the  perfidious  one,3  daring  a  monstrous  crime, 
steal  away,  with  the  partner  of  my  bed  helping  the 
sinful  deed.  From  this  source  has  flowed  the  whole 
evil  stream  of  mutual  destruction  ;  throughout  my 
kingdom  have  I  wandered,  a  trembling  exile ;  no 

2  i.e.  from  the  golden  fleece  upon  it. 

3  Thyestes. 

109 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

pars  nulla  generis  tuta  ab  insidiis  vacat, 
corrupta  coniunx,  iniperi  quassa  est  fides, 
domus  aegra,  dubius  sanguis  est — certi  nihil  240 

nisi  frater  hostis.     quid  stupes  ?     tandem  incipe 
animosque  sume  ;  Tantalum  et  Pelopem — aspice  ; 
ad  haec  manus  exempla  poscuntur  meae. 
Profare,  dirum  qua  caput  mactem  via. 


SATELLES 

Ferro  peremptus  spiritum  inimicum  expuat. 

ATREVS 

De  fine  poenae  loqueris ;  ego  poenam  volo. 
perimat  tyrannus  lenis  ;  in  regno  meo 
mors  impetratur. 

SATELLES 

Nulla  te  pietas  movet  ? 

ATREVS 

Excede,  Pietas,  si  modo  in  nostra  domo 
umquam  fuisti.     dira  Furiarum  cohors  250 

discorsque  Erinys  veniat  et  geminas  faces 
Megaera  quatiens  ;  non  satis  magno  meum 
ardet  furore  pectus  ;  impleri  iuvat 
maiore  monstro. 

SATELLES 

Quid  novi  rabidus  struis  ? 

ATREVS 

Nil  quod  doloris  capiat  assueti  m6dus  ; 
nullum  relinquam  facinus  et  nullum  est  satis. 

1  i.e.  by  which  tho  two  brothers  were  to  reign  alternately. 
110 


THYESTES 

part  of  my  family  is  safe  and  free  from  snares ;  my 
wife  seduced,  our  pledge1  of  empire  broken,  my 
house  impaired,  my  offspring  dubious — no  one  thing 
certain  save  my  brother's  enmity.  Why  standest  in- 
active ?  At  last  begin,  put  on  thy  courage  ;  Tantalus 
and  Pelops — look  on  them ;  to  work  like  theirs  my 
hands  are  summoned. 

244  Tell  thou,  by  what  means  I  may  bring  ruin  on 
his  wicked  head. 

ATTENDANT 

Slain  by  the  sword,  let  him  spew  forth  his  hateful 
soul. 

ATREUS 

Thou  speakest  of  punishment's  completion ;  I 
punishment  itself  desire.  Let  the  mild  tyrant  slay  ; 
in  my  dominion  death  is  a  boon  to  pray  for. 

ATTENDANT 

Does  piety  move  thee  not  ? 

ATREUS 

Be  gone,  O  Piety,  if  ever  in  our  house  thou  hadst 
a  place.  Let  the  dread  band  of  Furies  come,  the 
fiend  Discord,  and  Megaera,  brandishing  her  torches 
twain ;  not  great  enough  the  frenzy  with  which  my 
bosom  burns ;  with  some  greater  horror  would  I  be 
filled. 

ATTENDANT 

What  strange  design  does  thy  mad  soul  intend  ? 

ATREUS 

Naught  that  the  measure  of  accustomed  rage  can 
hold  ;  no  crime  will  I  leave  undone,  and  no  crime  is 
enough. 

Ill 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

SATELLES 

Ferrum  ? 

AT REVS 

Parum  est. 

SATELLES 

Quid  ignis  ? 

ATREVS 

Etiamnunc  parum  est 

SATELLES 

Quonam  ergo  telo  tantus  utetur  dolor  ? 

ATREVS 

Ipso  Thyeste. 

SATELLES 

Mains  hoc  ira  est  malum. 

ATREVS 

Fateor.     tumultus  pectora  attonitus  quatit         260 
penitusque  volvit  ;  rapior  et  quo  nescio, 
sed  rapior.     imo  mugit  e  fundo  solum, 
tonat  dies  serenus  ac  totis  domus 
ut  fracta  tectis  crepuit  et  moti  lares 
vertere  vultum — fiat  hoc,  fiat  nefas 
quod,  di,  timetis. 

SATELLES 

Facere  quid  tandem  paras  ? 

ATREVS 

Nescio  quid  animo  maius  et  solito  amplius 
supraque  fines  moris  humani  tumet 
instatque  pigris  manibus — haud  quid  sit  scio, 
112 


THYESTES 

ATTENDANT 

The  sword  ? 

ATREUS 


'Tis  not  enough. 

ATTENDANT 

Fire,  then  ? 

ATREUS 

Still  not  enough. 

ATTENDANT 

What  weapon,  pray,  will  thy  great  anguish  use  ? 

ATREUS 
Thyestes*  self. 

ATTENDANT 

This  plague  is  worse  than  passion. 

ATREUS 

I  do  confess  it.  A  frantic  tumult  shakes  and 
heaves  deep  my  heart.  I  am  hurried  I  know 
not  whither,  but  I  am  hurried  on.  The  ground 
rumbles  from  its  lowest  depths,  the  clear  sky  thun- 
ders, the  whole  house  crashes  as  though  'twere  rent 
asunder,  and  the  trembling  Lares  turn  away  their 
faces — let  it  be  done,  let  a  deed  of  guilt  be  done 
whereat,  O  gods,  ye  are  affrighted. 

ATTENDANT 

What,  pray,  wouldst  do  ? 

ATREUS 

Some  greater  thing,  larger  than  the  common  and 
beyond  the  bounds  of  human  use  is  swelling  in  my 
soul,  and  it  urges  on  my  sluggish  hands — I  know  not 

113 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

sed   grande   quiddam    est.       ita    sit.      hoc,   anime, 
occupa.  270 

dignum  est  Thyeste  facinus  et  dignum  Atreo ; 
uterque  faciat.     vidit  infandas  domus 
Odrysia  mensas — fateor,  immane  est  scelus, 
sed  occupatum  ;  maius  hoc  aliquid  dolor 
inveniat.     animum  Daulis  inspira  parens 
sororque  ;  causa  est  similis  ;  assiste  et  manum 
impelle  nostram.     liberos  avidus  pater 
gaudensque  laceret  et  suos  artus  edat. 
bene  est,  abunde  est.     hie  placet  poenae  modus. 

Tantisper1  ubinam  est?    tarn  diu  cur  innocens    280 
versatur  Atreus  ?     tota  iam  ante  oculos  meos 
imago  caedis  errat,  ingesta  orbitas 
in  ora  patris — anime,  quid  rursus  times 
et  ante  rem  subsidis  ?     audendum  est,  age ! 
quod  est  in  isto  scelere  praecipuum  nefas, 
hoc  ipse  faciet. 


SATELLE8 

Sed  quibus  captus  dolis 
nostros  dabit  perductus  in  laqueos  pedem? 
inimica  credit  cuncta. 

ATREVS 

Non  poterat  capi, 

nisi  capere  vellet.     regna  nunc  sperat  mea ; 
hac  spe  minanti  fulmen  occurret  Jovi,  290 

hac  spe  subibit  gurgitis  tumidi  minas 
dubiumque  Libycae  Syrtis  intrabit  fretum, 
hac  spe,  quod  esse  maximum  retur  malum, 
fratrem  videbit. 

1  All  editors  punctuate  modus  |  taritisper.     ubinam  est? 
114 


THYESTES 

what  it  is,  but  'tis  some  mighty  thing.  So  let  it  be. 
Haste,  thou,  my  soul,  and  do  it.  Tis  a  deed  worthy 
of  Thyestes,  and  of  Atreus  worthy  ;  let  each  perform 
it.  The  Odrysian l  house  once  saw  a  feast  unspeak- 
able— 'tis  a  monstrous  crime,  I  grant,  but  it  has 
been  done  before ;  let  my  smart  find  something 
worse  than  this.  Inspire  my  soul,  O  Daulian 2 
mother,  aye  and  sister,3  too  ;  my  case  is  like  to  yours  ; 
help  me  and  urge  on  my  hand.  Let  the  father  with 
joyous  greed  rend  his  sons,  and  his  own  flesh  devour. 
'Tis  well,  more  than  enough.  This  way  of  punish- 
ment is  pleasing. 

280  Meanwhile,  where  is  he  ?  Why  does  Atreus  so 
long  live  harmless  ?  Already  before  mine  eyes  flits 
the  whole  picture  of  the  slaughter ;  his  lost  children 
heaped  up  before  their  father's  face — O  soul,  why 
dost  shrink  back  in  fear  and  halt  before  the  deed  ? 
Come !  thou  must  dare  it !  What  is  the  crowning 
outrage  in  this  crime  he  himself  shall  do. 

ATTENDANT 

But  with  what  wiles  caught  will  he  be  led  to  set 
foot  within  our  snares?  He  counts  us  all  enemies. 


ATREUS 

He  could  not  be  caught  were  he  not  bent  on 
catching.  Even  now  he  hopes  to  gain  my  kingdom ; 
in  this  hope  he  will  face  Jove  as  he  brandishes  his 
thunder-bolt,  in  this  hope  will  brave  the  whirlpool's 
rage  and  enter  the  treacherous  waters  of  the  Libyan 
sands;  in  this  hope  (what  he  deems  the  greatest 
curse  of  all),  he  will  see  his  brother. 


1  i.e.  Thracian.     See  Index.         *  Procne.         8  Philomela. 

115 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 


SATELLES 

Quis  fidem  pacis  dabit? 
cui  tanta  credet  ? 

ATREVS 

Credula  est  spes  improba. 
natis  tamen  mandata  quae  patruo  ferant 
dabimus  :  relictis  exul  hospitiis  vagus 
regno  ut  miserias  mutet  atque  Argos  regat 
ex  parte  dominus.     si  nimis  durus  preces 
spernet  Tliyestes,  liberos  eius  rudes  300 

malisque  fessos  gravibus  et  faciles  capi 
prece  commovebunt.     hinc  vetus  regni  furor, 
illinc  egestas  tristis  ac  durus  labor 
quaravis  rigentem  tot  mails  subigent  virum. 

SATELLES 

lam  tempus  illi  fecit  aerumnas  leves. 

ATREVS 

Erras  ;  malorum  sensus  accrescit  die. 
leve  est  miserias  ferre,  perferre  est  grave. 

SATELLES 

Alios  ministros  consili  tristis  lege. 

ATREVS 

Peiora  iuvenes  facile  praecepta  audiunt. 

SATELLES 

In  patre  facient  quidquid  in  patruo  doces ;          .310 
saepe  in  magistrum  scelera  redierunt  sua. 

1  i.e.  other  than  Atreus'  own  sons. 

116 


THYESTES 

ATTENDANT 

Who  will  give  him  confidence  in  peace?  Whose 
word  will  he  so  greatly  trust  ? 

ATREUS 

Base  hope  is  credulous.  Still  to  my  sons  will  I 
give  a  message  to  carry  to  their  uncle  :  let  the  exiled 
wanderer  quit  strangers'  homes,  for  a  throne  exchange 
his  wretched  state  and  rule  at  Argos,  a  partner  of 
my  sway.  If  too  stubbornly  Thyestes  spurns  my 
prayer,  his  sons,  guileless  and  spent  with  hard  mis- 
fortunes and  easy  to  be  entreated,  will  be  moved. 
On  this  side,  his  old  mad  thirst  for  power,  on  that, 
grim  want  and  unfeeling  toil  by  their  many  woes  will 
force  the  man,  however  stiff,  to  yield. 

ATTENDANT 

By  now  time  has  made  his  troubles  light. 

ATREUS 

Not  so ;  a  sense  of  wrongs  increases  day  by  day. 
'Tis  easy  to  bear  misfortune ;  to  keep  on  bearing  it  a 
heavy  task. 

ATTENDANT 

Choose  other l  agents  of  thy  grim  design. 

ATREUS 

To  the  worse  schooling  youth  lends  ready  ear. 

ATTENDANT 

Toward  their  father  they  will  act  as  toward  their 
uncle  thou  instructest  them ;  often  upon  the  teacher 
have  his  bad  teachings  turned. 

11? 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

AT REVS 

Vt  nemo  doceat  fraudis  et  sceleris  vias, 
regnum  docebit.     ne  mail  fiant  times  ? 
nascuntur.     istud  quod  vocas  saevum  asperum 
agique  dure  credis  et  nimium  impie, 
fortasse  et  illic  agitur. 

SATELLES 

Hanc  fraudem  scient 
nati  parari  ? 

AT REVS 

Tacita  tarn  rudibus  fides 
non  est  in  annis ;  detegent  forsan  dolos  ; 
tacere  multis  discitur  vitae  malis. 

SATELLES 

Ipsosque  per  quos  fallere  alium  cogitas  820 

falles  ? 

ATREVS 

Vt  ipsi  crimine  et  culpa  vacent. 
quid  enim  necesse  est  liberos  sceleri  meos 
inserere?     per  nos  odia  se  nostra  explicent.— 
male  agis,  recedis,  anime  :  si  parcis  tuis, 
parces  et  illis.     consili  Agamemnon  mei 
sciens  minister  fiat  et  patri  sciens 
Menelaus  assit.     prolis  incertae  fides 
ex  hoc  petatur  scelere  :  si  bella  abnuunt 
et  gerere  nolunt  odia,  si  patruum  vocant, 
pater  est.     eatur. — multa  sed  trepidus  solet  830 

detegere  vultus,  magna  nolentem  quoque 
consilia  produnt :  nesciant  quantae  rei 
fiant  ministri.     nostra  tu  coepta  occules. 

1  By  Thyestes  against  Atreus. 
118 


THYESTES 

ATREUS 

Though  none  should  teach  them  the  ways  of 
treachery  and  crime,  the  throne  will  teach  them. 
Lest  they  become  evil,  fearest  thou  ?  They  were 
born  evil.  What  thou  callest  savage,  cruel,  thinkest 
is  done  ruthlessly,  with  no  regard  for  heaven's  law, 
perchance  even  there  l  is  being  done. 

ATTENDANT 

Shall  thy  sons  know  that  this  snare  is  being  laid  ? 

ATREUS 

Silent  discretion  is  not  found  in  years  so  in- 
experienced ;  perchance  they  will  disclose  the  plot ; 
the  art  of  silence  is  taught  by  life's  many  ills. 

ATTENDANT 

Even  those  by  whom  thou  plannest  to  deceive 
another,  wilt  thou  deceive  ? 

ATREUS 

That  they  themselves  may  be  free  even  from 
blame  of  crime.  What  need  to  entangle  my  sons  in 
guilt  ?  By  my  own  self  let  my  hatred  be  wrought 
out. — Thou  doest  ill,  thou  shrinkest  back,  my  soul. 
Let  Agamemnon  be  the  witting  agent  of  my  plan, 
and  Menelaus  wittingly  assist  his  father.  By  this  deed 
let  their  uncertain  birth  be  put  to  proof:  if  they 
refuse  the  combat,  if  they  will  not  wage  the  war  of 
hate,  if  they  plead  he  is  their  uncle,  he  is  their  sire. 
Let  them  set  forth. — But  a  troubled  countenance  oft 
discloses  much  ;  great  plans  betray  their  bearer  even 
against  his  will  ;  let  them  not  know  of  how  great  a 
matter  they  are  the  ministers.  And  do  thou  conceal 
my  plans. 

119 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SEN7ECA 

SATELLES 

Haud  sum  monendus  ;  ista  nostro  in  pectore 
fides  timorque,  sed  magis  claudet  fides. 

CHORVS 

Tandem  regia  nobilis, 
antiqui  genus  Inachi, 
fratrum  composuit  minas.1 

Quis  vos  exagitat  furor, 
alternis  dare  sanguinem  340 

et  sceptrum  scelere  aggredi  ? 
nescitis,  cupidi  arcium, 
regnum  quo  iaceat  loco, 
regem  non  faciunt  opes, 
non  vestis  Tyriae  color, 
non  frontis  nota  regiae, 
non  auro  nitidae  fores  2  ; 
rex  est  qui  posuit  metus 
et  diri  mala  pectoris, 

quern  non  ambitio  inpotens  350 

et  numquam  stabilis  favor 
vulgi  praecipitis  movet, 
non  quidquid  fodit  Occidens 
aut  unda  Tagus  aurea 
claro  devehit  alveo, 
non  quidquid  Libycis  tent 
fervens  area  messibus, 
quern  non  concutiet  cadens 
obliqui  via  fulminis, 

non  Eurus  rapiens  mare  S60 

aut  saevo  rabidus  freto 
ventosi  tumor  Hadriae, 
quern  non  lancea  militis, 

1  Richter  deletes  336-338.  *  trabes  A, 

120 


THYESTES 

ATTENDANT 

No  need  to  admonish  me  ;  both  fear  and  loyalty 
shall  shut  them  in  my  heart,  but  rather  loyalty. 

CHORUS 

At  last  our  noble  house,  the  race  of  ancient  Inachus, 
hath  allayed  the  strife  of  brothers. 

339  VVhat  madness  pricks  you  on  to  shed  by  turns 
each  others'  blood,  and  by  crime  to  gain  the  throne  ? 
Ye  know  not,  for  high  place  greedy,  wherein  true 
kingship  lies.  A  king  neither  riches  make,  nor  robes 
of  Tyrian  hue,  nor  crown  upon  the  royal  brow,  nor 
doors  with  gold  bright-gleaming ;  a  king  is  he  who 
has  laid  fear  aside  and  the  base  longings  of  an  evil 
heart ;  whom  ambition  unrestrained  and  the  fickle 
favour  of  the  reckless  mob  move  not,  neither  all  the 
mined  treasures  of  the  West  nor  the  golden  sands 
which  Tagus  sweeps  along  in  his  shining  bed,  nor  all 
the  grain  trod  out  on  burning  Libya's  threshing- 
floors  ;  whom  no  hurtling  path  of  the  slanting 
thunderbolt  will  shake,  nor  Eurus,  harrying  the  sea, 
nor  wind-swept  Adriatic's  swell,  raging  with  cruel 
wave ;  whom  no  warrior's  lance  nor  bare  steel  ever 

121 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

non  strictus  domuit  chalybs, 
qui  tuto  positus  loco 
infra  se  videt  omnia 
occurritque  suo  libens 
fato  nee  queritur  mori. 

Reges  conveniant  licet 
qui  sparsos  agitant  Dahas,  S70 

qui  rubri  vada  litoris 
et  gemmis  mare  lucidis 
late  sanguineum  tenent, 
aut  qui  Caspia  fortibus 
recludunt  iuga  Sarmatis, 
certet  Danuvii  vadum 
audet  qui  pedes  ingredi 
et  (quocumque  loco  iacent) 
Seres  vellere  nobiles — 
mens  regnum  bona  possidet.  380 

nil  ullis  opus  est  equis, 
nil  armis  et  inertibus 
telis  quae  procul  ingerit 
Parthus,  cum  simulat  fugas, 
admotis  nihil  est  opus 
urbes  sternere  machinis, 
longe  saxa  rotantibus. 
rex  est  qui  metuit  nihil, 
rex  est  qui  cupiet  nihil.1 
hoc  regnum  sibi  quisque  dat.  390 

Stet  quicumque  volet  potens 
aulae  culmine  lubrico ; 
me  dulcis  saturet  quies  ; 
obscuro  positus  loco 
leni  perfruar  otio, 
nullis  nota  Quiritibus 
aetas  per  taciturn  fluat. 

1  Leo  deletes  lines  388,  389. 
122 


THYESTES 

mastered ;  who,  in  safety  'stablished,  sees  all  things 
beneath  his  feet,  goes  gladly  to  meet  his  fate  nor 
grieves  to  die. 

369  Though  kings  should  gather  themselves  to- 
gether, both  they  who  vex  the  scattered  Scythians 
and  they  who  dwell  upon  the  Red  Sea's  marge,  who 
hold  wide  sway  o'er  the  blood-red  main  with  its 
gleaming  pearls,  they  who  leave  unguarded l  the 
Caspian  heights  to  the  bold  Sarmatians ;  though  he 
strive  against  him,  who  dares  on  foot  to  tread  the 
Danube's  waves  2  and  (wheresoe'er  they  dwell,)  the 
Serians  3  for  fleeces  famous — 'tis  the  upright  mind 
that  holds  true  sovereignty.  He  has  no  need  of 
horses,  none  of  arms  and  the  coward  weapons  which 
the  Parthian  hurls  from  far  when  he  feigns  flight, 
no  need  of  engines  hurling  rocks,  stationed  to  batter 
cities  to  the  ground.  A  king  is  he  who  has  no  fear ; 
a  king  is  he  who  shall  naught  desire.  Such  kingdom 
on  himself  each  man  bestows. 

391  Let  him  stand  who  will,  in  pride  of  power,  on 
empire's  slippery  height ;  let  me  be  filled  with  sweet 
repose ;  in  humble  station  fixed,  let  me  enjoy  un- 
troubled ease,  and,  to  my  fellow  citizens  4  unknown, 
let  my  life's  stream  flow  in  silence.  So  when  my 

1  Because  they  do  not  fear  these  enemies. 

2  i.e.  the  frozen  surface. 

3  The  poet  here  conceives  of  the  Serians  as  near  by  Scythia. 

4  Quirites  must  be  taken  in  a  general  sense.     Specifically, 
it  would  be  impossible,  since  it  applies  only  to  Roman  citi- 
zens, who  at  this  time  had  not  come  into  existence. 

123 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

sic  cum  transierint  mei 

nullo  cum  strepitu  dies, 

plebeius  moriar  senex.  400 

illi  mors  gravis  incubat 

qui,  notus  nimis  omnibus, 

ignotus  moritur  sibi. 

THYESTES 

Optata  patriae  tecta  et  Argolicas  opes 
miserisque  summum  ac  maximum  exulibus  bonum, 
tractum  soli  natalis  et  patrios  deos 
(si  sunt  tamen  di)  cerno,  Cyclopum  sacras 
turres,  labore  maius  humano  decus, 
celebrata  iuveni  stadia,  per  quae  nobilis 
palmam  paterno  non  semel  curru  tuli  4 1 0 

occurret  Argos,  populus  occurret  frequens — 
sed  nempe  et  Atreus.     repete  silvestres  fugas 
saltusque  densos  potius  et  mixtam  feris 
similemque  vitam  ;  clarus  hie  regni  nitoi 
fulgore  non  est  quod  oculos  falso  auferat ; 
cum  quod  datur  spectabis,  et  dantem  aspice. 
modo  inter  ilia,  quae  putant  cuncti  aspera, 
fortis  fui  laetusque  ;  nunc  contra  in  metus 
revolvor  ;  animus  haeret  ac  retro  cupit 
corpus  referre,  moveo  nolentem  gradum.  420 

TANTALVS 

Pigro  (quid  hoc  est  ?)  genitor  incessu  stupet 
vultumque  versat  seque  in  incerto  tenet. 


124 


THYESTES 

days  have  passed  noiselessly  away,  lowly  may  I  die 
and  full  of  years.  On  him  does  deatli  lie  heavily, 
who,  but  too  well  known  to  all,  dies  to  himself 
unknown. 

[Enter  THYESTES,  returning  from  banishment,  accompanied 

by  his  three  sons.] 


THYESTES 

At  last  I  see  the  welcome  dwellings  of  my  father- 
land, the  wealth  of  Argolis,  and,  the  greatest  and 
best  of  sights  to  wretched  exiles,  a  stretch  of  native 
soil  and  my  ancestral  gods  (if  after  all  gods  there 
are),  the  sacred  towers  reared  by  the  Cyclopes,  in 
beauty  far  excelling  human  effort,  the  race-course 
thronged  with  youth,  where  more  than  once,  lifted 
to  fame,  have  I  in  my  father's  chariot  won  the  palm. 
Argos  will  come  to  meet  me,  the  thronging  populace 
will  come — but  surely  Atreus  too !  Rather  seek 
again  thy  retreats  in  the  forest  depths,  the  impene- 
trable glades,  and  life  shared  with  beasts  and  like  to 
theirs ;  this  gleaming  splendour  of  the  throne  is 
naught  that  should  blind  my  eyes  with  its  false  tinsel 
show ;  when  thou  lookest  on  the  gift,  scan  well  the 
giver,  too.  Of  late  midst  such  fortune  as  all  count 
hard,  1  was  brave  and  joyous  ;  but  now  I  am  returned 
to  fears ;  my  courage  falters  and,  eager  to  go  back,  I 
move  unwilling  feet  along. 

TANTALUS    [aside] 

My  father  (what  can  it  mean  ?)  with  faltering  pace 
goes  as  if  dazed,  keeps  turning  his  face  away,  and 
holds  uncertain  course. 

125 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

THYESTES 

Quid,  anime,  pendes  quidve  consilium  diu 
tarn  facile  torques  ?     rebus  incertissimis, 
fratri  atque  regno,  credis  ac  metuis  mala 
iam  victa,  iam  mansueta  et  aerumnas  fugis 
bene  collocatas  ?     esse  iam  miserum  iuvat. 
reflecte  gressum,  dum  licet,  teque  eripe. 

TANTALVS 

Quae  causa  cogit,  genitor,  a  patria  gradum 
referre  visa  ?     cur  bonis  tantis  sinum  430 

subducis  ?     ira  frater  abiecta  redit 
partemque  regni  reddit  et  lacerae  domus 
componit  artus  teque  restituit  tibi. 

THYESTES 

Causam  timoris  ipse  quam  ignore  exigis. 
nihil  timendum  video,  sed  timeo  tamen. 
placet  ire,  pigris  membra  sed  genibus  labant 
alioque  quam  quo  nitor  abductus  feror. 
sic  concitatam  remige  et  velo  ratem 
aestus  resistens  remigi  et  velo  refert. 

TANTALVS 

Evince  quidquid  obstat  et  mentem  impedit        440 
reducemque  quanta  praemia  expectent  vide, 
pater,  potes  regnare. 

THYESTES 

Cum  possim  mori. 

1  i.e.  made  the  best  of  by  learning  how  to  bear  them. 
a  Blessings  are  being  poured  into  his  bosom  and  he  will 
not  receive  them. 

126 


THYESTES 

THYESTES  [m  soliloquy] 

Why  O  soul,  dost  hesitate,  or  why  dost  so  long 
turn  o'er  and  o'er  a  plan  so  simple  ?  Dost  thou  trust 
to  things  most  unsure,  to  a  brother  and  to  kingship? 
Dost  fear  hardships  already  mastered,  already  easier 
to  bear,  and  dost  flee  from  distresses  well  employed  P1 
'Tis  sweet  now  to  be  wretched.  Turn  back,  while 
still  thou  mayest,  and  save  thyself. 

TANTALUS 

What  cause  compels  thee,  father,  to  turn  thee 
back  from  sight  of  thy  native  land  ?  Why  from  so 
great  blessings  dost  withhold  thy  bosom  ? 2  Thy 
brother  returns  to  thee  with  wrath  given  o'er,  gives 
thee  back  half  the  realm,  unites  the  members  of  thy 
sundered  house,  and  to  thyself  restores  thee. 

THYESTES 

My  cause  of  fear,  which  I  myself  know  not,  thou 
demandest  of  me.  Naught  to  be  feared  I  see,  but 
still  I  fear.  Fain  would  I  go,  but  my  limbs  totter 
with  faltering  knees,  and  other-whither  than  I  strive 
to  go  am  I  borne  away  in  thrall.  Just  so  a  ship, 
urged  on  by  oar  and  sail,  the  tide,  resisting  both  oar 
and  sail,  bears  back. 

TANTALUS 

O'ercome  thou  whate'er  opposes  and  thwarts  thy 
will,  and  see  how  great  rewards  await  thee  on  thy 
return.  Father,  thou  canst  be  king. 

THYESTES 

Yea,  since  1  can  die.3 

3  The  power  to  die  is  more  precious  than  the  power  of 
kings  ;  since,  therefore,  he  can  die,  Thyestes  has  indeed  regal 
power. 

127 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

TANTALVS 

Summa  est  potestas — 

THYESTES 

Nulla,  si  cupias  nihil. 

TANTALVS 

Natis  relinques. 

THYESTES 

Non  capit  regnum  duos. 

TANTALVS 

Miser  esse  mavult  esse  qui  felix  potest  ? 

THYESTES 

Mihi  crede,  falsis  magna  nominibus  placent, 
frustra  timentur  dura,     dum  excelsus  steti, 
numquam  pavere  destiti  atque  ipsum  mei 
ferrum  timere  lateris.     o  quantum  bonum  est 
obstare  nulli,  capere  securas  dapes  450 

humi  iacentem  !     scelera  non  intrant  casas, 
tutusque  mensa  capitur  angusta  cibus  ; 
venenum  in  auro  bibitur.     expertus  loquor  : 
malam  bonae  praeferre  fortunam  licet. 
non  vertice  alti  montis  impositam  domum 
et  eminentem  civitas  humilis  tremit 
nee  fulget  altis  splendidum  tectis  ebur 
somnosque  non  defendit  excubitor  meos  ; 
non  classibus  piscamur  et  retro  mare 
iacta  fugamus  mole  nee  ventrem  improbum  460 

alimus  tributo  gentium,  nullus  mihi 


128 


THYESTES 

TANTALUS 

The  height  of  power  is — 

THYESTES 

Naught,  if  nothing  thou  desirest. 

TANTALUS 

To  thy  sons  wilt  thou  bequeath  it. 

THYESTES 

The  throne  admits  not  two. 

TANTALUS 

Would  he  wish  wretchedness  who  can  be  blest? 

THYESTES 

False,  believe  me,  are  the  titles  that  give  greatness 
charm ;  idle  our  fears  of  hardship.  While  I  stood 
high  in  power,  never  did  I  cease  to  dread,  yea,  to 
fear  the  very  sword  upon  my  thigh.  Oh,  how  good 
it  is  to  stand  in  no  man's  road,  care-free  to  eat  one's 
bread,  on  the  ground  reclining !  Crime  enters  not 
lowly  homes,  and  in  safety  is  food  taken  at  a  slender 
board ;  poison  is  drunk  from  cups  of  gold.  I  speak 
that  I  do  know  :  evil  fortune  is  to  be  preferred  to 
good.1  The  lowly  citizen  fears  no  house  of  mine  set 
high  and  threatening  on  a  mountain  top ;  my  tower- 
ing roofs  flash  not  with  gleaming  ivory,  no  guard 
watches  o'er  my  slumbers ;  with  no  fleet  of  boats  I 
fish,  with  no  piled  break-water  do  I  drive  back  the 
sea  ;  I  gorge  not  my  vile  belly  at  the  world's  expense; 
for  me  no  fields  are  harvested  beyond  the  Getae  and 

1  Having  tried  both,  he  comes  to  this  conclusion. 

129 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

ultra  Getas  metalur  et  Parthos  ager  ; 

non  tare  colimur  nee  meae  excluso  love 

ornantur  arae  ;  nulla  culminibus  meis 

imposita  nutat  silva  nee  fumant  manu 

succensa  multa  stagna  nee  somno  dies 

Baechoque  nox  iungenda  pervigili  datur : 

sed  non  timemur,  tuta  sine  telo  est  domus 

rebusque  parvis  magna  praestatur  quies. 

immane  regnum  est  posse  sine  regno  pati.  470 

TANTALVS 

Nee  abnuendum,  si  dat  imperium  deus, 
nee  appetendum  est ;  frater  lit  regnes  rogat. 

THYESTES 

Rogat?     timendtim  est.     errat  hie  aliquis  dolus. 

TANTALVS 

Redire  pietas  unde  submota  est  solet 
reparatque  vires  iustus  amissas  amor. 

THYESTES 

Amat  Thyesten  frater?     aetherias  prius 
perfundet  Arctos  pontus  et  Siculi  rapax 
consistet  aestus  unda  et  lonio  seges 
matura  pelago  surget  et  lucem  dabit 
nox  atra  terris,  ante  cum  flammis  aquae,  480 

cum  morte  vita,  cum  mari  ventus  fidem 
foedusque  iungent. 

TANTALVS 

Quam  tamen  fraudem  times  ? 

THYESTES 

Omnem  ;  timori  quern  meo  statuam  modum  ? 
tantum  potest  quantum  odit. 

130 


THYESTES 

the  Parthians ;  no  incense  burns  for  me,  nor  are  my 
shrines  adorned  in  neglect  of  Jove ;  no  planted 
grove  waves  on  my  battlements,  nor  does  many  a 
pool  heated  by  art  steam  for  me  ;  my  days  are  not 
given  to  sleep  nor  are  my  nights  linked  with  wakeful 
revelry :  but  I  am  not  feared,  safe  without  weapons 
is  my  house  and  to  my  small  estate  great  peace  is 
granted.  Tis  a  boundless  kingdom, — the  power 
without  kingdoms  to  be  content. 

TANTALUS 

Neither  is  empire  to  be  refused  if  a  god  bestows  it, 
nor  needst  thou  seek  it ;  thy  brother  invites  thee  to 
be  king. 

THYESTES 

Invites?  Then  must  I  fear.  Some  trick  strays 
hereabouts. 

TANTALUS 

Brotherly  regard  ofttimes  returns  unto  the  heart 
whence  it  was  driven,  and  true  love  regains  the 
vigour  it  has  lost. 

THYESTES 

His  brother  love  Thyestes  ?  Sooner  shall  ocean 
bathe  the  heavenly  Bears,  and  the  devouring  waves 
of  the  Sicilian  tides  stand  still ;  sooner  shall  ripening 
grain  spring  from  the  Ionian  sea,  and  dark  night 
illume  the  world  ;  sooner  shall  fire  with  water,  life 
with  death  commingle,  and  winds  join  faith  and 
treaty  with  the  sea. 

TANTALUS 

And  yet  what  treachery  dost  thou  fear  ? 

THYESTES 

All  treachery ;  to  my  fear  what  limit  shall  I  set  ? 
His  power  is  boundless  as  his  hate. 

131 


THE    TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

TANTALVS 

In  te  quid  potest? 

THYESTES 

Pro  me  nihil  iam  metuo ;  vos  facitis  mihi 
Atrea  timendum. 

TANTALVS 

Decipi  cautus  times? 

THYESTES 

Serum  est  cavendi  tempus  in  mediis  malis  ; 
eatur.     unum  genitor  hoc  testor  tamen  : 
ego  vos  sequor,  non  duco. 

TANTALVS 

Respiciet  deus 
bene  cogitata.     perge  non  dubio  gradu.  490 


ATREVS 

Plagis  tenetur  clausa  dispositis  fera  ; 
et  ipsum  et  una  generis  invisi  indolem 
iunctam  parenti  cerno.     iam  tuto  in  loco 
versantur  odia.     venit  in  nostras  manus 
tandem  Thyestes,  venit,  et  totus  quidem 
vix  tempero  animo,  vix  dolor  frenos  capit. 
sic,  cum  feras  vestigat  et  longo  sagax 
loro  tenetur  Vmber  ac  presso  vias 
scrutatur  ore,  dum  procul  lento  suem 
odore  sentit,  paret  et  tacito  locum  500 

132 


THYESTES 

TANTALUS 

What  power  has  he  against  thee  ? 

THYESTES 

For  myself  I  have  now  no  fear ;  'tis  you,  my  sons, 
who  make  Atreus  cause  of  dread  to  me. 

TANTALUS 

Dost  fear  to  be  entrapped  if  on  thy  guard  ? 

THYESTES 

'Tis  too  late  to  guard  when  in  the  midst  of 
dangers;  but  let  us  on.  Yet  this  one  thing  your 
father  doth  declare  :  I  follow  you,  not  lead. 

TANTALUS 

God  will  protect  us  if  we  heed  well  our  ways. 
With  assured  step  haste  thou  on. 

[Enter  ATREUS.     Seeing  THYESTES  and  his  sons,  he  gloats 
over  the  fact  that  his  brother  is  at  last  in  his  power.'] 

ATREUS  [aside] 

The  prey  is  fast  caught  in  the  toils  I  spread ;  both 
the  sire  himself  and,  together  with  the  sire,  the 
offspring  of  his  hated  race  I  see.  Now  on  safe 
footing  does  my  hatred  fare.  At  last  has  Thyestes 
come  into  my  power ;  he  has  come,  and  the  whole  J 
of  him  !  Scarce  can  I  control  my  spirit,  scarce  does 
my  rage  admit  restraint.  So  when  the  keen  Umbrian 
hound  tracks  out  the  prey  and,  held  on  a  long  leash, 
with  lowered  muzzle  snuffs  out  the  trail,  while  with 
faint  scent  he  perceives  the  boar  afar,  obediently  and 

1  i.e.  sons  and  all. 

133 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

rostro  pererrat ;  praeda  cum  propior  fuit, 

cervice  tota  pugnat  et  gemitu  vocat 

dominum  morantem  seque  retinenti  eripit. 

cum  sperat  ira  sapguinem,  nescit  tegi ; 

tamen  tegatur.     aspice,  ut  multo  gravis 

squalore  vultus  obruat  maestos  coma. 

quam  foeda  iaceat  barba.     praestetur  fides — 

fratrem  iuvat  videre.     complexus  mihi 

redde  expetitos.     quidquid  irarum  fuit 

transient ;  ex  hoc  sanguis  ac  pietas  die  510 

colantur,  animis  odia  damnata  excidant. 

THYESTES 

Diluere  possem  cuncta,  nisi  talis  fores, 
sed  fateor,  Atreu,  fateor,  admisi  omnia 
quae  credidisti.      pessimam  causam  meam 
hodierna  pietas  fecit,      est  prorsus  nocens 
quicumque  visus  tarn  bono  fratri  est  nocena 
lacrimis  agendinr  est ;  supplicem  primus  vides  ; 
hae  te  precantur  pedibus  intactae  manus  : 
ponatur  omnis  ira  et  ex  animo  tumor 
erasus  abeat.     obsides  fidei  accipe  520 

hos  innocentes,  frater. 

ATREVS 

A  genibus  manum 

aufer  meosque  potius  amplexus  pete, 
vos  quoque,  senum  praesidia,  tot  iuvenes,  meo 
pendete  collo.      squalidam  vestem  exue 
oculisque  nostris  parce  et  ornatus  cape 
pares  meis  laetusque  fratemi  imperi 
134- 


THYESTES 

with  silent  tongue  he  scours  the  field  ;  but  when  the 
game  is  nearer,  with  his  whole  strength  of  neck  he 
struggles,  loudly  protests  against  his  master's  loitering, 
and  breaks  away  from  his  restraint.  When  rage 
scents  blood,  it  cannot  be  concealed  ;  yet  let  it  be 
concealed.  See  how  his  thick  hair,  all  unkempt, 
covers  his  woeful  face,  how  foul  his  beard  hangs 
down.  [In  bitter  irony.]  Now  let  me  keep  my  pro- 
mise.1 [To  THYESTES.]  Tis  sweet  to  see  my  brother 
once  again.  Give  me  the  embrace  that  I  have 
longed  for.  Let  all  our  angry  feelings  pass  away  ; 
from  this  day  let  ties  of  blood  and  love  be  cherished 
and  let  accursed  hatred  vanish  from  our  hearts. 

THYESTES 

I  might  excuse  all  my  deeds  wert  thou  not  such  as 
this.  But  I  confess,  Atreus,  I  confess  that  I  have 
done  all  that  thou  believedst  of  me.  Most  foul  has 
thy  love  to-day  made  my  case  appear.  Sinful  indeed 
is  he  who  has  been  proved  sinful  toward  so  good  a 
brother.  My  tears  must  plead  for  me  ;  thou  art  the 
first  to  see  me  suppliant.  These  hands,  which  have 
never  touched  man's  feet,  beseech  thee  :  put  away 
all  thy  wrath  and  let  swollen  anger  pass  from  thy 
heart  and  be  forgot.  As  pledge  of  my  faith,  O  brother, 
take  these  guiltless  boys. 

ATREUS 

From  my  knees  remove  thy  hand  and  come  rather 
into  my  embrace.  And  you,  too,  boys,  all  of  you, 
comforters  of  age,  come  cling  about  my  neck.  Thy 
foul  garments  put  off,  spare  my  eyes,  and  put  on 
royal  trappings  equal  to  my  own,  and  with  glad 

1  Which  he  had  made  through  his  sons.     See  I.  296. 

135 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF    SENECA 

capesse  partem.     maior  haec  laus  est  mea, 
fratri  paternum  reddere  incolumi  decus ; 
habere  regnum  casus  est,  virtus  dare. 


THYESTE8 

Di  paria,  frater,  pretia  pro  tantis  tibi  530 

meritis  rependant.     regiam  capitis  notam 
squalor  recusat  noster  et  sceptrum  manus 
infausta  refugit.     liceat  in  media  mihi 
latere  turba. 

ATREVS 

Recipit  hoc  regnum  duos. 

THYESTES 

Meum  esse  credo  quid  quid  est,  frater,  tuuui. 

ATREVS 
Quis  influentis  dona  fortunae  abnuit  ? 

THYESTES 

Expertus  est  quicumque  quam  facile  effluant. 

ATREVS 
Fratrem  potiri  gloria  ingenti  vetas  ? 

THYESTES 

Tua  iam  peracta  gloria  est,  restat  mea  ; 
respuere  certum  est  regna  consilium  mihi.  540 

ATREVS 
Meam  relinquam,  nisi  tuam  partem  accipis. 


136 


THYESTES 

heart  share  a  brother's  kingdom.  Mine  is  the  greater 
glory,  to  restore  to  a  brother  all  unharmed  ancestral 
dignity ;  wielding  of  power  is  the  work  of  chance, 
bestowing  of  it,  virtue's. 

THYESTES 

May  the  gods,  my  brother,  fitly  repay  thee  for  so 
great  deserts.  The  kingly  crown  my  wretched  state 
refuses,  and  the  sceptre  my  ill-omened  hand  rejects. 
Let  it  be  mine  to  hide  amidst  the  throng. 

ATREUS 
Our  throne  has  room  for  two. 

THYESTES 

I  count,  my  brother,  all  of  thine  as  mine.1 

ATREUS 
Who  puts  aside  inflowing  fortune's  gifts  ? 

THYESTES 

Whoso  has  found  how  easily  they  ebb. 

ATREUS 

Dost  forbid  thy  brother  to  gain  great  glory  ? 

THYESTES 

Thy  glory  is  won  already  ;  mine  is  still  to  win  :  to 
refuse  the  throne  is  my  fixed  intent. 

ATREUS 

My  glory  must  I  abandon,  unless  thou  accept  thy 

share. 

1  But  I  will  not  take  possession  of  it. 

137 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

THYESTES 

Accipio  ;  regni  nomen  impositi  ferara, 
sed  iura  et  arma  servient  mecum  tibi. 

AT REVS 

Imposita  capiti  vincla  venerando  gere ; 
ego  destinatas  victimas  superis  dabo. 

CHORVS 

Credat  hoc  quisquam  ?     ferus  ille  et  acer 
nee  potens  mentis  truculentus  Atreus 
fratris  aspectu  stupefactus  haesit. 
nulla  vis  maior  pietate  vera  est ; 
iurgia  externis  inimica  durant,  550 

quos  amor  verus  tenuit  tenebit. 
ira  cum  magnis  agitata  causis 
gratiam  rupit  cecinitque  bellum, 
cum  leves  frenis  sonuere  turmae, 
fulsit  hinc  illinc  agitatus  ensis 
quern  movet  crebro  furibundus  ictu 
sanguinem  Mavors  cupiens  recentem — 
opprimet  ferrum  manibusque  iunctis 
ducet  ad  Pacem  Pietas  negantes. 

Otium  tanto  subitum  e  tumultu  5b'0 

quis  deus  fecit  ?     modo  per  Mycenas 
arma  civil  is  crepuere  belli  ; 
pallidae  natos  tenuere  matres, 
uxor  armato  timuit  marito, 
cum  manum  invitus  sequeretur  ensis, 
sordidus  pacis  vitio  quietae  ; 
ille  labentes  renovare  muros, 
hie  situ  quassas  stabilire  turres, 
ferreis  portas  cohibere  claustris 
ille  certabat,  pavidusque  pinnis  570 

anxiae  noctis  vigil  incubabat — 

138 


THYESTES 

THYESTES 

I  do  accept ;  the  name  of  king  set  on  me  will  I 
wear  ;  but  unto  thee  shall  laws  and  arms  along  with 
myself  be  subject. 

ATREUS  [placing  the  crown  upon  his  brother  s  head] 

This  crown,  set  on  thy  reverend  head,  wear  thou ; 
but  I  the  destined  victims  to  the  gods  will  pay.  [Exit. 

CHORUS 

Such  things  are  past  belief.  Atreus,  there,  the 
fierce  and  savage,  reckless  of  soul  and  cruel,  at 
sight  of  his  brother  stood  as  one  amazed.  There  is 
no  power  stronger  than  true  love  ;  angry  strife  'twixt 
strangers  doth  endure,  but  whom  true  love  has  bound 
'twill  bind  for  ever.  When  wrath,  by  great  causes 
roused,  has  burst  friendship's  bonds  and  sounded 
alarms  of  war  ;  when  fleet  squadrons  with  ringing 
bridles  come ;  when  the  brandished  sword  gleams 
now  here,  now  there,  which  the  mad  god  of  war, 
thirsting  for  fresh-flowing  blood,  wields  with  a  rain 
of  blows, — then  will  Love  stay  the  steel,  and  lead 
men,  even  against  their  will,  to  the  clasped  hands  of 
Peace. 

560  This  sudden  lull  out  of  so  great  uproar  what 
god  has  wrought  ?  But  now  throughout  Mycenae 
the  arms  of  civil  strife  resounded  ;  pale  mothers  held 
fast  their  sons,  the  wife  feared  for  her  lord  full 
armed,  when  to  his  hand  came  the  reluctant  sword, 
foul  with  the  rust  of  peace  ;  one  strove  to  repair 
tottering  walls,  one  to  strengthen  towers,  crumbling 
with  long  neglect ;  another  strove  to  shut  gates  tight 
with  iron  bars,  while  on  the  battlements  the  trembling 
guard  kept  watch  o'er  the  troubled  night — for  worse 

139 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

peior  est  bello  timor  ipse  belli. 

iam  minae  saevi  cecidere  ferri, 

mm  silet  murmur  grave  classicorum, 

iam  tacet  stridor  litui  strepentis  ; 

alta  pax  urbi  revocata  laetae  est. 

sic,  ubi  ex  alto  tumuere  fluctus 

Bruttium  Coro  feriente  pontum, 

Scylla  pulsatis  resonat  cavernis 

ac  mare  in  portu  timuere  nautae  580 

quod  rapax  haustum  revomit  Charybdis, 

et  ferus  Cyclops  metuit  parentem 

rupe  ferventis  residens  in  Aetnae, 

ne  superfusis  violetur  undis 

ignis  aeternis  resonans  caminis, 

et  putat  mergi  sua  posse  pauper 

regna  Laertes  Ithaca  tremente — 

si  suae  ventis  cecidere  vires, 

mitius  stagno  pelagus  recumbit; 

alta,  quae  navis  timuit  secare,  590 

hinc  et  bine  fusis  speciosa  velis 

strata  ludenti  patuere  cumbae, 

et  vacat  mersos  numerare  pisces 

hie  ubi  ingenti  modo  sub  procella 

Cyclades  pontum  timuere  motae. 

Nulla  sors  longa  est ;  dolor  ac  voluptas 
invicem  cedunt;   brevior  voluptas. 
ima  permutat  levis  hora  summis. 
ille  qui  donat  diadema  fronti, 
quern  genu  nixae  tremuere  gentes,  600 

cuius  ad  nutum  posuere  bella 
Medus  et  Phoebi  propioris  Indus 
et  Dahae  Parthis  equitem  minati, 
anxius  sceptrum  tenet  et  moventes 
cuncta  divinat  metuitque  casus 
mobiles  rerum  dubiumque  tempus. 

140 


THYESTES 

than  war  is  the  very  fear  of  war.  Now  the  sword's 
dire  threats  have  fallen  ;  now  still  is  the  deep 
trumpet-blare  ;  now  silent  the  shrill  clarion's  blast ; 
deep  peace  to  a  glad  city  is  restored.  So,  when  the 
floods  heave  up  from  ocean's  depths  and  Corus l 
lashes  the  Bruttian  waters ;  when  Scylla  roars  in 
her  disturbed  cavern,  and  mariners  in  harbour 
tremble  at  the  sea  which  greedy  Charybdis  drains 
and  vomits  forth  again  ;  when  the  wild  Cyclops, 
sitting  on  burning  Aetna's  crag,  dreads  his  sire's  2 
rage,  lest  the  o'erwhelming  waves  put  out  the  fires 
that  roar  in  immemorial  furnaces  ;  and  when  beg- 
gared Laertes  thinks,  while  Ithaca  reels  beneath  the 
shock,  that  his  kingdom  may  be  submerged — then, 
if  their  strength  has  failed  the  winds,  the  sea  sinks 
back  more  peaceful  than  a  pool  ;  and  the  deep  waters 
which  the  ship  feared  to  cleave,  now  far  and  wide, 
studded  with  bellying  sails,  a  beauteous  sight,  to 
pleasure-boats  spread  out  their  waves ;  and  you  may 
now  count  the  fish  swimming  far  below,  where  but 
lately  beneath  the  mighty  hurricane  the  tossed 
Cyclads  trembled  at  the  sea. 

596  No  lot  endureth  long ;  pain  and  pleasure,  each 
in  turn,  give  place  ;  more  quickly,  pleasure.  Lowest 
with  highest  the  fickle  hour  exchanges.  He  who 
wears  crown  on  brow,  before  whom  trembling  nations 
bend  the  knee,  at  whose  nod  the  Medes  lay  down 
their  arms,  and  the  Indians  of  the  nearer  sun,3  and 
the  Dahae  who  hurl  their  horse  upon  the  Parthians, 
— he  with  anxious  hand  holds  the  sceptre,  and  both 
foresees  and  fears  fickle  chance  and  shifting  time  that 
change  all  things. 

1  The  North-west  wind.  2  Neptune. 

8  The  sun  was  supposed  to  be  nearer  to  the  oriental 
nations. 

141 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Vos  quibus  rector  maris  atque  terrae 
ius  dedit  magnum  necis  atque  vitae, 
ponite  inflates  tumidosque  vultus  ; 
quidquid  a  vobis  minor  expavescit.  610 

maior  hoc  vobis  dominus  minatur ; 
omne  sub  regno  graviore  regnum  est. 
quern  dies  vidit  veniens  superbum, 
hunc  dies  vidit  fugiens  iacentem. 
nemo  confidat  nimium  secundis, 
nemo  desperet  meliora  lapsis  : 
miscet  haec  illis  prohibetque  Clotho 
stare  fortunam,  rotat  omne  fatum. 
nemo  tarn  divos  habuit  faventes, 
crastinum  ut  posset  sibi  polliceri :  620 

res  deus  nostras  celeri  citatas 
turbine  versat. 

NVNTIVS 

Quis  me  per  auras  turbo  praecipitem  vehet 
atraque  nube  involvet,  ut  tantum  nefas 
eripiat  oculis  ?     o  domus  Pelopi  quoque 
et  Tantalo  pudenda ! 

CHORVS 
Quid  portas  novi? 

NVNTIVS 

Quaenam  ista  regio  est  ?     Argos  et  Sparte,  pios 
sortita  fratres,  et  maris  gemini  premens 
fauces  Corinthos,  an  feris  Hister  fugam 
praebens  Alanis,  an  sub  aeterna  nive  630 

Hyrcana  tellus  an  vagi  passim  Scythae  ? 
quis  hie  nefandi  est  conscius  monstri  locus  ? 

1  i.e.  Castor  and  Pollux.     See  Phoenissae,  128. 
142 


THYESTES 

607  O  you,  to  whom  the  ruler  of  sea  and  land  has 
given  unbounded  right  o'er  life  and  death,  abate  your 
inflated,  swelling  pride ;  all  that  a  lesser  subject 
fears  from  you,  'gainst  you  a  greater  lord  shall 
threaten  ;  all  power  is  subject  to  a  weightier  power. 
Whom  the  rising  sun  hath  seen  high  in  pride,  him 
the  setting  sun  hath  seen  laid  low.  Let  none  be 
over-confident  when  fortune  smiles  ;  let  none  despair 
of  better  things  when  fortune  fails.  Clotho  blends 
weal  and  woe,  lets  no  lot  stand,  keeps  every  fate 
a-turning.  No  one  has  found  the  gods  so  kind  that 
he  may  promise  to-morrow  to  himself.  God  keeps 
all  mortal  things  in  swift  whirl  turning. 

[Enter   MESSENGER    breathlessly    announcing    the   horror 
which  has  just  been  enacted  behind  the  scenes.] 

MESSENGER 

What  whirlwind  will  headlong  bear  me  through 
the  air  and  in  murky  cloud  enfold  me,  that  it  may 
snatch  this  awful  horror  from  my  sight  ?  O  house, 
to  Pelops  even  and  to  Tantalus  a  thing  of  shame ! 

CHORUS 
What  news  bringst  thou  ? 

MESSENGER 

What  place  is  this?  Is  it  Argos?  Is  it  Sparta, 
to  which  fate  gave  loving  brothers  ? J  Corinth, 
resting  on  the  narrow  boundary  of  two  seas  ?  Or 
the  Ister,  giving  chance  of  flight  to  the  barbarous 
Alani  ?  Or  the  Hyrcanian  land  'neath  its  ever- 
lasting snows  ?  Or  the  wide-wandering  Scythians  ? 
What  place  is  this  that  knows  such  hideous  crime  ? 

143 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

CHORVS 

Effare  et  istud  pande,  quodcumque  est,  malura. 

NVNTIVS 

Si  steterit  animus,  si  metu  corpus  rigens 
remittet  artus.      haeret  in  vultu  trucis 
imago  facti  !     ferte  me  insanae  procul, 
illo,  procellae,  ferte  quo  fertur  dies 
hinc  raptus. 

CHORVS 

Animos  gravius  incertos  tenes. 
quid  sit  quod  horres  ede  et  auctorem  indica. 
non  quaere  quis  sit,  sed  uter.     effare  ocius.  640 

NVNTIVS 

In  arce  summa  Pelopiae  pars  est  domus 
conversa  ad  austros,  cuius  extremum  latus 
aequale  monti  crescit  atque  urbem  premit 
et  contumacem  regibus  populum  suis 
habet  sub  ictu  ;  fulget  hie  turbae  capax 
immane  tectum,  cuius  auratas  trabes 
variis  columnae  nobiles  maculis  ferunt. 
post  ista  vulgo  nota3  quae  populi  colunt, 
in  multa  dives  spatia  discedit  domus ; 
arcana  in  imo  regio  secessu  iacet,  650 

alta  vetustum  valle  compescens  nemus, 
penetrale  regni,  nulla  qua  laetos  solet 
praebere  ramos  arbor  aut  ferro  coli, 
sed  taxus  et  cupressus  et  nigra  ilice 
obscura  nutat  silva,  quam  supra  eminens 
despectat  alte  quercus  et  vincit  nemus. 
144 


THYESTES 

CHORUS 

Speak  out  and  tell  this  evil,  whate'er  it  is. 

MESSENGER 

When  my  spirit  is  composed,  when  numbing  fear 
lets  go  its  hold  upon  my  limbs.  Oh,  but  I  see  it 
still,  the  picture  of  that  ghastly  deed  '  Bear  me  far 
hence,  wild  winds,  oh,  thither  bear  me  whither  l  the 
vanished  day  is  borne. 

CHORUS 

More  grievously  dost  thou  hold  our  minds  in 
doubt.  Tell  thou  what  is  this  thing  which  makes 
thee  shudder,  and  point  out  the  doer  of  it.  I 
ask  not  who  it  is,  but  which.2  Speak  out  and 
quickly. 

MESSENGER 

On  the  summit  of  the  citadel  a  part  of  Pelops' 
palace  faces  south  ;  its  farthest  side  rises  to  moun- 
tainous height,  and  o'erlooks  the  city,  having  beneath 
its  menace  the  people,  insolent  to  their  kings.  Here 
gleams  the  great  hall  that  could  contain  a  multitude, 
whose  gilded  architraves  columns  glorious  with  varied 
hues  upbear.  Behind  this  general  hall,  which  nations 
throng,  the  gorgeous  palace  stretches  out  o'er  many 
a  space  ;  and,  deep  withdrawn,  there  lies  a  secret 
spot  containing  in  a  deep  vale  an  ancient  grove,  the 
kingdom's  innermost  retreat.  Here  110  tree  ever 
affords  cheerful  shade  or  is  pruned  by  any  knife  ;  but 
the  yew-tree  and  the  cypress  and  woods  of  gloomy 
ilex-trees  wave  obscure,  above  which,  towering  high, 
an  oak  looks  down  and  overtops  the  grove.  From 

1  i.e.  to  the  other  side  of  the  world. 
3  It  must  be  one  of  the  two  brothers. 

145 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

hinc  auspicari  regna  Tantalidae  solent, 

hinc  petere  lapsis  rebus  ac  dubiis  opem. 

affixa  inhaerent  dona  ;  vocales  tubae 

fractique  currus,  spolia  Myrtoi  maris,  660 

victaeque  falsis  axibus  pendent  rotae 

et  omne  gentis  facinus  ;  hoc  Phrygius  loco 

fixus  tiaras  Pelopis,  hie  praeda  hostium 

et  de  triumpho  picta  barbarico  chlamys. 

Fons  stat  sub  umbra  tristis  et  nigra  piger 
liaeret  palude  ;  talis  est  dirae  Stygis 
deformis  unda  quae  facit  caelo  fidem. 
hinc  nocte  caeca  gemere  ferales  deos 
fama  est,  catenis  lucus  excussis  sonat 
ululantque  manes,     quidquid  audire  est  metus      670 
illic  videtur  ;  errat  antiquis  vetus 
emissa  bustis  turba  et  insultant  loco 
maiora  notis  monstra ;  quin  tota  solet 
micare  silva  flamma,  et  excelsae  trabes 
ardent  sine  igne.     saepe  latratu  nemus 
trino  remugit,  saepe  simulacris  domus 
attonita  magnis.     nee  dies  sedat  metum  ; 
nox  propria  luco  est  et  superstitio  mferum 
in  luce  media  regnat.     hinc  orantibus 
responsa  dantur  certa,  cum  ingenti  sono  680 

laxantur  adyto  fata  et  inmugit  specus 
vocem  deo  solvente. 

Quo  postquam  furens 
intravit  Atreus  liberos  fratris  trahens, 
ornantur  arae — quis  queat  digne  eloqui  ? 
post  terga  iuvenum  nobiles  religat  manus 

146 


THYESTES 

this  spot  the  sons  of  Tantalus  are  wont  to  enter  on 
their  reign,  here  to  seek  aid  midst  calamity  and 
doubt.  Here  hang  their  votive  gifts ;  resounding 
trumpets  and  broken  chariots,  spoils  of  the  Myrtoan 
Sea,1  and  wheels  o'ercome  by  treacherous  axle-trees 
hang  there,  and  memorials  of  the  race's  every  crime ; 
in  this  place  is  Pelops'  Phrygian  turban  hung,  here 
spoil  of  the  enemy,  and  the  embroidered  robe,  token 
of  triumph  o'er  barbaric  foes. 

665  A  dismal  spring  starts  forth  beneath  the  shadow, 
and  sluggish  in  a  black  pool  creeps  along  ;  such  are 
the  ugly  waters  of  dread  Styx,  on  which  the  gods 
take  oath.  'Tis  said  that  from  this  place  in  the  dark 
night  the  gods  of  death  make  moan  ;  with  clanking 
chains  the  grove  resounds,  and  the  ghosts  howl 
mournfully.  Whatever  is  dreadful  but  to  hear  of, 
there  is  seen  ;  throngs  of  the  long-since  dead  come 
forth  from  their  ancient  tombs  and  walk  abroad, 
and  creatures  more  monstrous  than  men  have  known 
spring  from  the  place  ;  nay  more,  through  all  the 
wood  flames  go  flickering,  and  the  lofty  beams 
glow  without  help  of  fire.  Oft-times  the  grove 
re-echoes  with  three-throated  bayings ;  oft-times 
the  house  is  affrighted  with  huge,  ghostly  shapes. 
Nor  is  terror  allayed  by  day  ;  the  grove  is  a  night 
unto  itself,  and  the  horror  of  the  underworld  reigns 
even  at  midday.  From  this  spot  sure  responses  are 
given  to  those  who  seek  oracles  ;  with  thundering 
noise  the  fates  are  uttered  from  the  shrine,  and 
the  cavern  roars  when  the  god  sends  forth  his  voice. 

682  When  to  this  place  maddened  Atreus  came, 
dragging  his  brother's  sons,  the  altars  were  decked 
— but  who  could  worthily  describe  the  deed  ?  Be- 
hind their  backs  he  fetters  the  youths'  princely 

1  See  Index  s.v.  "  Myrtilus." 

147 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

et  maesta  vitta  capita  purpurea  ligat ; 
non  tura  desunt,  non  sacer  Bacchi  liquor 
tangensque  salsa  victimam  culter  mola. 
servatur  omnis  ordo,  ne  tantum  nefas 
non  rite  fiat. 

CHORVS 
Quis  manum  ferro  admovet  ?  690 

NVNTIVS 

Ipse  est  sacerdos,  ipse  funesta  preee 
letale  carmen  ore  violento  canit, 
stat  ipse  ad  aras,  ipse  devotos  neci 
contrectat  et  componit  et  ferro  admovet l ; 
attendit  ipse — nulla  pars  sacri  perit. 
lucus  tremescit,  tota  succusso  solo 
nutavit  aula,  dubia  quo  pondus  daret 
ac  fluctuant!  similis  ;  e  laevo  aethere 
atrum  cucurrit  limitem  sidus  trahens. 
libata  in  ignes  vina  mutato  fluunt  700 

cruenta  Baccho,  regium  capiti  decus 
bis  terque  lapsum  est,  flevit  in  templis  ebur. 

Movere  cunctos  monstra,  sed  solus  sibi 
immotus  Atreus  constat  atque  ultro  deos 
terret  minantes.     iamque  dimissa  mora 
adsistit  aris,  torvum  et  obliquum  intuens. 
ieiuna  silvis  qualis  in  Gangeticis 
inter  iuvencos  tigris  erravit  duos, 
utriusque  praedae  cupida  quo  primum  ferat 
incerta  morsus  (flectit  hue  rictus  suos,  710 

illo  reflectit  et  famem  dubiam  tenet), 
sic  durus  Atreus  capita  devota  impiae 
speculatur  irae.     quern  prius  mactet  sibi 

1   The  fall  form  of  this  technical  phrase  w  seen  in  line  690. 
148 


THYESTES 

hands  nnd  their  sad  brows  he  binds  with  purple 
fillets.  Nothing  is  lacking,  neither  incense,  nor 
sacrificial  wine,  the  knife,  the  salted  meal  to  sprinkle 
on  the  victims.  The  accustomed  ritual  is  all  ob- 
served, lest  so  great  a  crime  be  not  duly  wrought. 

CHORUS 
Who  lays  his  hand  unto  the  knife  ? 

MESSENGER 

Himself  is  priest ;  himself  with  baleful  prayer 
chants  the  death-song  with  boisterous  utterance ; 
himself  stands  by  the  altar ;  himself  handles  those 
doomed  to  death,  sets  them  in  order  and  lays  hand 
upon  the  knife  ;  himself  attends  to  all — no  part  of 
the  sacred  rite  is  left  undone.  The  grove  begins  to 
tremble  ;  the  whole  palace  sways  with  the  quaking 
earth,  uncertain  whither  to  fling  its  ponderous  mass, 
and  seems  to  waver.  From  the  left  quarter  of  the 
sky  rushes  a  star,  dragging  a  murky  trail.  The 
wine,  poured  upon  the  fire,  changes  from  wine  and 
flows  as  blood  ;  from  the  king's  head  falls  the  crown 
twice  and  again,  and  the  ivory  statues  in  the  temples 
weep. 

703  These  portents  moved  all,  but  Atreus  alone, 
true  to  his  purpose,  stands,  and  e'en  appals  the 
threatening  gods.  And  now,  delay  at  end,  he  stands 
before  the  altar  with  lowering,  sidelong  glance.  As 
in  the  jungle  by  the  Ganges  river  a  hungry  tigress 
wavers  between  two  bulls,  eager  for  each  prey,  but 
doubtful  where  first  to  set  her  fangs  (to  the  one  she 
turns  her  jaws,  then  to  the  other  turns,  and  keeps 
her  hunger  waiting),  so  does  cruel  Atreus  eye  the 
victims  doomed  by  his  impious  wrath.  He  hesitates 

149 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

dubitat,  secunda  deinde  quern  caede  immolet. 
nee  interest,  sed  dubitat  et  saevum  scelus 
iuvat  ordinare. 

CHORVS 

Quern  tamen  ferro  occupat  ? 

NVNTIVS 

Primus  locus  (ne  desse  pietatem  putes) 
avo  dicatur  :  Tantalus  prima  hostia  est. 

CHORVS 
Quo  iuvenis  animo,  quo  tulit  vultu  necem  ? 

NVNTIVS 

Stetit  sui  securus  et  non  est  preces  720 

perire  frustra  passus  ;  ast  illi  ferus 
in  vulnere  ensem  abscondit  et  penitus  premens 
iugulo  manum  commisit  :  educto  stetit 
ferro  cadaver,  cumque  dubitasset  diu, 
hac  parte  an  ilia  caderet,  in  patruum  cadit. 
tune  ille  ad  aras  Plisthenem  saevus  trahit 
adicitque  fratri ;  colla  percussa  amputat ; 
cervice  caesa  truncus  in  pronum  ruit, 
querulum  cucurrit  murmure  incerto  caput, 

CHORVS 

Quid  deinde  gemina  caede  perfunctus  facit  ?     7SG 
puerone  parcit  an  scelus  sceleri  ingerit  ? 


150 


THYESTES 

within  himself  whom  first  to  slay,  whom  next  to 
sacrifice  by  the  second  stroke.  It  matters  not,  but 
still  he  hesitates,  and  gloats  over  the  ordering  of  his 
savage  crime. 

CHORUS 

Whom,  for  all  that,  does  he  first  attack  with  the 
steel  ? 

MESSENGER 

The  place  of  honour  (lest  you  deem  him  lacking 
in  reverence)  to  his  grandsire  1  is  allotted — Tantalus 
is  the  first  victim. 

CHORUS 

With  what  spirit,  with  what  countenance  bore  the 
lad  his  death  ? 

MESSENGER 

Careless  of  self  he  stood,  nor  did  he  plead,  knowing 
such  prayer  were  vain  ;  but  in  his  wound  the  savage 
buried  the  sword  and,  deep  thrusting,  joined  hand 
with  throat.  The  sword  withdrawn,  the  corpse  still 
stood  erect,  and  when  it  had  wavered  long  whether 
here  or  there  to  fall,  it  fell  upon  the  uncle.  Then 
Plisthenes  to  the  altar  did  that  butcher  drag  and  set 
him  near  his  brother.  His  head  with  a  blow  he 
severed ;  down  fell  the  body  when  the  neck  was 
smitten,  and  the  head  rolled  away,  grieving  with 
murmur  inarticulate. 

CHORUS 

What  did  he  then  after  the  double  murder  ?  Did 
he  spare  one  boy,  or  did  he  heap  crime  on  crime  ? 

1  ».«.   the  boy,  Tantalus,  is  named  after  his  grandfather. 
This  "  place  of  honour  "  is  a  ghastly  jest. 

151 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

NVNTIVS 

Silva  iubatus  qualis  Armenia  leo 
in  caede  multa  victor  armento  incubat 
(cruore  rictus  madidus  et  pulsa  fame 
non  ponit  iras  ;  hinc  et  hinc  tauros  premens 
vitulis  minatur  dente  iam  lasso  piger) — 
non  aliter  Atreus  saevit  atque  ira  tumet, 
ferrumque  gemina  caede  perfusum  tenens, 
oblitus  in  quern  fureret,  infesta  manu 
exegit  ultra  corpus  ;  ac  pueri  statim  740 

pectore  receptus  ensis  in  tergo  exstitit. 
cadit  ille  et  aras  sanguine  extinguens  suo 
per  utrumque  vulnus  moritur. 

CHORVS 

O  saevum  seel  us  ! 
NVNTIVS 

Exhorruistis  ?     hactenus  si  stat  nefas, 
pius  est. 

CHORVS 

An  ultra  maius  aut  atrocius 
natura  recipit  ? 

NVNTIVS 

Sceleris  hunc  finem  putas? 
gradus  est. 

CHORVS 

Quid  ultra  potuit  ?     obiecit  feris 
lanianda  forsan  corpora  atque  igne  arcuit? 

NVNTIVS 

Vtiiiam  arcuisset !  ne  tegat  functos  humus 
nee  solvat  ignis  '     avibus  epulandos  licet  750 


152 


THYESTES 

MESSENGER 

E'en  as  a  maned  lion  in  the  Armenian  woods  with 
much  slaughter  falls  victorious  on  the  herd  (his  jaws 
reek  with  gore,  and  still,  though  hunger  is  appeased, 
he  rages  on  ;  now  here,  now  there  charging  the  bulls, 
he  threatens  the  calves,  sluggishly  now  and  with 
weary  fangs) — not  otherwise  Atreus  raves  and  swells 
with  wrath  and,  still  grasping  his  sword  drenched 
with  double  slaughter,  scarce  knowing  'gainst  whom 
he  rages,  with  deadly  hand  he  drives  clean  through 
the  body ;  and  the  sword,  entering  the  boy's  breast, 
straightway  stood  out  upon  his  back.  He  falls  and, 
staining  the  altar  with  his  blood,  dies  by  a  double 
wound. 

CHORUS 

Oh,  savage  crime ! 

MESSENGER 

Are  you  so  horror-stricken?  If  only  the  crime 
stops  there,  'tis  piety. 

CHORUS 

Does  nature  admit  crime  still  greater  or  more 
dread  ? 

MESSENGER 

Crime's  limit  deemst  thou  this  ?  'Tis  the  first 
step  of  crime. 

CHORUS 

What  further  could  he  do?  Did  he  perchance 
throw  the  bodies  to  the  beasts  to  tear,  and  refuse 
them  fire  ? 

MESSENGER 

Would  that  he  had  refused  !  I  pray  not  that  earth 
cover  or  fire  consume  the  dead !  He  may  give  them 
to  the  birds  to  feast  upon,  may  drag  them  out  as  a 

153 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ferisque  triste  pabulum  saevis  trahat — 
votum  est  sub  hoc  quod  esse  supplicium  solet — 
pater  insepultos  spectet !     o  nullo  scelus 
credibile  in  aevo  quodque  posteritas  neget — 
erepta  vivis  exta  pectoribus  tremunt 
spirantque  venae  corque  adhuc  pavidum  salit. 
at  ille  fibras  tractat  ac  fata  inspicit 
et  adhuc  calentes  viscerum  venas  notat. 

Postquam  hostiae  placuere,  securus  vacat 
iam  fratris  epulis.     ipse  divisum  secat  760 

in  membra  corpus,  amputat  trunco  tenus 
umeros  patentes  et  lacertorum  moras, 
denudat  artus  durus  atque  ossa  amputat ; 
tantum  ora  servat  et  datas  fidei  man  us. 
haec  veribus  haerent  viscera  et  lentis  data 
stillant  caminis,  ilia  flammatus  latex 
candente  aeno  iactat.     impositas  dapes 
transiluit  ignis  inque  trepidantes  focos 
bis  ter  regestus  et  pati  iussus  moram 
invitus  ardet.     stridet  in  veribus  iecur  ;  770 

nee  facile  dicam  corpora  an  flammae  magis 
gemuere.     piceos  ignis  in  fumos  abit ; 
et  ipse  fumus,  tristis  ac  nebula  gravis, 
non  rectus  exit  seque  in  excelsum  levat — 
ipsos  penates  nube  deformi  obsidet. 

O  Phoebe  patiens,  fugeris  retro  licet 
medioque  ruptum  merseris  caelo  diem, 
sero  occidisti.     lancinat  natos  pater 
artusque  mandit  ore  funesto  suos ; 
nitet  fluente  madidus  unguento  comam  780 

gravisque  vino  ;  saepe  praeclusae  cibum 
tenuere  fauces,  in  malis  unum  hoc  tuis 
154 


THYESTES 

ghastly  meal  for  ravenous  beasts — oh,  after  what 
befell,  one  might  pray  for  what  is  oft  held  punish- 
ment— unburied  may  the  father  gaze  upon  his  sons  ! 
O  crime  incredible  to  any  age,  which  coming  genera- 
tions will  deny — torn  from  the  still  living  breasts  the 
vitals  quiver ;  the  lungs  still  breathe  and  the  flutter- 
ing heart  still  beats.  But  he  handles  the  organs  and 
enquires  the  fates,  and  notes  the  markings  of  the 
still  warm  entrails. 

759  When  with  the  victims  he  has  satisfied  himself, 
he  is  now  free  to  prepare  his  brother's  banquet. 
With  his  own  hands  he  cuts  the  body  into  parts, 
severs  the  broad  shoulders  at  the  trunk,  and  the 
retarding  arms,  heartlessly  strips  off  the  flesh  and 
severs  the  bones ;  the  heads  only  he  saves,  and  the 
hands  that  had  been  given  to  him  in  pledge  of  faith. 
Some  of  the  flesh  is  fixed  on  spits  and,  set  before 
slow  fires,  hangs  dripping;  other  parts  boiling  water 
tosses  in  heated  kettles.  The  fire  overleaps  the 
feast  that  is  set  before  it  and,  twice  and  again  thrown 
back  upon  the  shuddering  hearth  and  forced  to  tarry 
there,  burns  grudgingly.  The  liver  sputters  on  the 
spits ;  nor  could  I  well  say  whether  the  bodies  or  the 
flames  made  more  complaint.  The  fire  dies  down  in 
pitchy  smoke ;  and  the  smoke  itself,  a  gloomy  and 
heavy  smudge,  does  not  rise  straight  up  and  lift  itself 
in  air — upon  the  household  gods  themselves  in  dis- 
figuring cloud  it  settles. 

776  O  all-enduring  Phoebus,  though  thou  didst 
shrink  afar,  and  in  mid-sky  didst  bury  the  darkened 
day,  still  thou  didst  set  too  late.  The  father  rends 
his  sons  and  with  baleful  jaws  chews  his  own  flesh  ; 
with  hair  dripping  with  liquid  nard  he  sits  resplendent, 
heavy  with  wine  ;  oft-times  the  food  sticks  in  his 
choking  gullet.  In  the  midst  of  these  thy  woes, 

155 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

bonum  est,  Thyesta,  quod  mala  ignoras  tua. 
sed  et  hoc  peribit.     verterit  currus  licet 
sibi  ipse  Titan  obvium  ducens  iter 
tenebrisque  lacinus  obruat  tetrum  novis 
nox  missa  ab  ortu  tempore  alieno  gravis, 
tamen  videndum  est.     tota  patefient  mala. 


CHORVS 

Quo  terrarum  superumque  parens, 
cuius  ad  ortus  noctis  opacae  790 

decus  omne  fugit,  quo  vertis  iter 
medioque  diem  perdis  Olympo? 
cur,  Phoebe,  tuos  rapis  aspectus  ? 
nondum  serae  nuntius  horae 
nocturna  vocat  lumina  Vesper ; 
nondum  Hesperiae  flexura  rotae 
iubet  emeritos  solvere  currus  ; 
nondum  in  noctem  vergente  die 
tertia  misit  bucina  signum  ; 
stupet  ad  subitae  tempora  cenae  800 

nondum  fessis  bubus  arator. 
quid  te  aetherio  pepulit  cursu  ? 
quae  causa  tuos  limite  certo 
deiecit  equos  ?     numquid  aperto 
carcere  Ditis  victi  temptant 
bella  Gigantes  ?     numquid  Tityos 
pectore  fesso  renovat  veteres 
saucius  iras  ?     num  reiecto 
latus  explicuit  monte  Typhoeus  ? 
numquid  struitur  via  Phlegraeos  810 

alta  per  hostes  et  Thessalicum 
Thressa  premitur  Pelion  Ossa  ? 

1  i.e.  the  day's.         *  i.e.  in  mid-heaven,  at  noon. 
156 


THYESTES 

Thyestes,  this  only  good  remains,  that  thou  knowest 
not  thy  woes.  But  even  this  will  perish.  Though 
Titan  himself  should  turn  his  chariot  back,  taking 
the  opposite  course  ;  though  heavy  night,  rising  at 
dawn  and  at  another's  1  time,  with  strange  shadows 
should  bury  this  ghastly  deed,  still  it  must  out. 
There  is  no  sin  but  it  shall  be  revealed. 

[Unnatural  darkness  has  settled  over  the  world.] 

CHORUS 

Whither,  O  father  of  the  lands  and  skies,  before 
whose  rising  thick  night  with  all  her  glories  flees, 
whither  dost  turn  thy  course  and  why  dost  blot  out 
the  day  in  mid-Olympus  ?  2  Why,  O  Phoebus,  dost 
snatch  away  thy  face  ?  Not  yet  does  Vesper, 
twilight's  messenger,  summon  the  fires  of  night ;  not 
yet  does  thy  wheel,  turning  its  western  goal,  bid  free 
thy  steeds  from  their  completed  task  ;  not  yet  as  day 
fades  into  night  has  the  third  trump  sounded  ;  3  the 
ploughman  with  oxen  yet  unwearied  stands  amazed  at 
his  supper-hour's  quick  coming.  What  has  driven 
thee  from  thy  heavenly  course  ?  What  cause  from 
their  fixed  track  has  turned  aside  thy  horses?  Is 
the  prison-house  of  Dis  thrown  wide  and  are  the 
conquered  Giants  again  essaying  war  ?  Doth  sore- 
wounded  Tityos  renew  in  his  weary  breast  his  ancient 
wrath  ?  Has  Typhoeus  thrown  off  the  mountainous 
mass  and  set  his  body  free?  Is  a  highway  being  built 
by  the  Phlegraean 4  foe,  and  does  Thessalian  Pelion 
press  on  Thracian  Ossa  ? 

3  The  Greek   day   was   divided   into  three  parts  of  four 
hours  each.     The  third  trump  sounding  would  indicate  the 
beginning  of  day's  last  third. 

4  t  «.  the  Giants,  so  called  from  Phlegra,  a  valley  in  Thrace, 
where  started  their  battle  against  the  gods. 

157 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Solitae  mundi  periere  vices  ; 
cihil  occasuSj  nihil  ortus  erit. 
stupet  Eoos,  assueta  deo 
tradere  frenos  genetrix  primae 
roscida  lucis,  perversa  sui 
limina  rcgni  ;  nescit  fessos 
tinguere  currus  nee  fumarites 
sudore  iubas  mergere  ponto.  820 

ipse  insueto  novus  hospitio 
Sol  Auroram  videt  occiduus, 
tenebrasque  iubet  surgere  nondum 
nocte  parata.     non  succedunt 
astra  nee  ullo  micat  igne  polus, 
non  Luna  graves  digerit  umbras. 

Sed  quidquid  id  est,  utinam  nox  sit! 
trepidant,  trepidant  pectora  magno 
percussa  metu : 

ne  fatali  cuncta  ruina  830 

quassata  labent  iterumque  deos 
hominesque  premat  deforme  chaos, 
iterum  terras  et  mare  cingens 
et  vaga  picti  sidera  mundi 
n at ura  tegat.     non  aeternae 
facis  exortu  dux  astrorum 
saecula  ducens  dabit  aestatis 
brumaeque  notas,  non  Phoebeis 
obvia  flammis  demet  nocti 
Luna  timores  vincetque  sui  840 

fratris  habenas,  curvo  brevius 
limite  currens.     ibit  in  unum 
congesta  sinum  turba  deorum. 
hie  qui  sacris  pervius  astris 
secat  obliquo  tramite  zonas 
flectens  longos  signifer  annos, 
lapsa  videbit  sidera  labens; 

158 


THYESTES 

813  Heaven's  accustomed  alternations  are  no  more; 
no  setting,  no  rising  shall  there  be  again.  The  dewy 
mother  l  of  the  early  dawn,  wont  to  hand  o'er  to  the 
god  his  morning  reins,  looks  in  amaze  upon  the 
disordered  threshold  of  her  kingdom ;  she  is  not 
skilled  2  to  bathe  his  weary  chariot,  nor  to  plunge  his 
steeds,  reeking  with  sweat,  beneath  the  sea.  Startled 
himself  at  such  unwonted  welcoming,  the  sinking 
sun  beholds  Aurora,  and  bids  the  shadows  arise, 
though  night  is  not  yet  ready.  No  stars  come  out ; 
the  heavens  gleam  not  with  any  fires :  no  moon 
dispels  the  darkness*  heavy  pall. 

827  But  whatever  this  may  be,  would  that  night 
were  here  !  Trembling,  trembling  are  our  hearts, 
sore  smit  with  fear,  lest  all  things  fall  shattered  in 
fatal  ruin  and  once  more  gods  and  men  be  o'erwhelmed 
by  formless  chaos  ;  lest  the  lands,  the  encircling  sea, 
and  the  stars  that  wander  in  the  spangled  sky,  nature 
blot  out  once  more.  No  more  by  the  rising  of  his 
quenchless  torch  shall  the  leader  of  the  stars,  guiding 
the  procession  of  the  years,  mark  off  the  summer  and 
the  winter  times  ;  no  more  shall  Luna,  reflecting 
Phoebus'  rays,  dispel  night's  terrors,  and  outstrip 
her  brother's  reins,  as  in  scantier  space  8  she  speeds 
on  her  circling  path.  Into  one  abyss  shall  fall  the 
heaped-up  throng  of  gods.4  The  Zodiac,  which, 
making  passage  through  the  sacred  stars,  crosses  the 
zones  obliquely,  guide  and  sign-bearer  for  the  slow- 
moving  years,  falling  itself,  shall  see  the  fallen 

1  Aurora.  2  As  is  Tethys  of  the  western  sea. 

8  i.e.  her  monthly  orbit. 

4  By  gods  is  meant  planets,  i.e.  Saturn,  Jupiter,  Mars. 

159 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

hie  qui  nondum  vere  benigno 

redd  it  Zephyro  vela  tepenti, 

Aries  praeceps  ibit  in  undas,  850 

per  quas  pavidam  vexerat  Hellen  ; 

hie  qui  nitido  Taurus  cornu 

praefert  Hyadas,  secum  Geminos 

trahet  et  curvi  bracchia  Cancri ; 

Leo  flammiferis  aestibus  ardens 

iterum  e  caelo  cadet  Herculeus, 

cadet  in  terras  Virgo  relictas 

iustaeque  cadent  pondera  Librae 

secumque  trahent  Scorpion  acrem  ; 

et  qui  nervo  tenet  Haemonio  860 

pinnata  senex  spicula  Chiron, 

rupto  perdet  spicula  nervo  ; 

pigram  referens  hiemem  gelidus 

cadet  Aegoceros  frangetque  tuam, 

quisquis  es,  urnam  ;  tecum  excedent 

ultima  caeli  sidera  Pisces, 

Plostraque  numquam  perfusa  mari 

merget  condens  omnia  gurges  ; 

et  qui  medias  dividit  Vrsas, 

fiuminis  instar  lubricus  Anguis,  870 

magnoque  minor  iuncta  Draconi 

frigida  duro  Cynosura  gelu, 

custosque  sui  tardus  plaustri 

iam  non  stabilis  ruet  Arctophylax. 

1  This  lion  and  other  monsters  were  said  to  have  fallen 
from  the  moon. 

2  Astraea.     See  Index. 

3  Chiron  is  Sagittarius  in  the  constellations  of  the  Zodiac. 

4  Capricornus. 

5  A  reference  to  the  Zodiacal  sign,  Aquarius,  the  "Water- 
man," concerning  whose  identity  ancient   authorities   have 
not  agreed. 

160 


THYESTES 

constellations ;  the  Ram,  who,  ere  kindly  spring  has 
come,  gives  back  the  sails  to  the  warm  West-wind, 
headlong  shall  plunge  into  the  waves  o'er  which  he 
had  borne  the  trembling  Helle  ;  the  Bull,  who 
before  him  on  bright  horns  bears  the  Hyades,  shall 
drasr  the  Twins  down  with  him  and  the  Crab's  wide- 

o 

curving  claws ;  Alcides'  Lion,  with  burning  heat 
inflamed,  once  more  l  shall  fall  down  from  the  sky  ; 
the  Virgin  2  shall  fall  to  the  earth  she  once  abandoned, 
and  the  Scales  of  justice  with  their  weights  shall  fall 
and  with  them  shall  drag  the  fierce  Scorpion  down ; 
old  Chiron,3  who  sets  the  feathered  shafts  upon 
Haemonian  chord,  shall  lose  his  shafts  from  the 
snapped  bowstring;  the  frigid  Goat4  who  brings 
back  sluggish  winter,  shall  fall  and  break  thy  urn, 
whoe'er  thou  5  art ;  with  thee  shall  fall  the  Fish,  last 
of  the  stars  of  heaven,  and  the  Wain,6  which  was 
ne'er  bathed  by  the  sea,  shall  be  plunged  beneath 
the  all-engulfing  waves  ;  the  slippery  Serpent  which, 
gliding  like  a  river,  separates  the  Bears,  shall  fall, 
and  icy  Cynosura,  the  Lesser  Bear,  together  with  the 
Dragon  vast,  congealed  with  cold  ;  and  that  slow- 
moving  driver  of  his  wain,  Arctophylax,7  no  longer 
fixed  in  place,  shall  fall. 

*  Otherwise  known  as  the  "Bear."  The  constellation  is 
unfortunately  named  here,  since  there  was  no  mythological 
reason  why  the  Wain  should  not  be  bathed  in  the  Ocean,  as 
was  the  case  with  the  Bear. 

7  Seneca  badly  mixes  his  mythology  here.  Arctophylax, 
the  "  bear-keeper,"  is  appropriate  only  if  the  Bear  is  men- 
tioned in  his  connection  ;  he  should  be  Bootes  if  the  com- 
panion constellation  is  thought  of  as  the  Wain. 

161 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Nos  e  tanto  visi  populo 
digni  premeret  quos  everso 
cardine  mundus  ? 
in  nos  aetas  ultima  venit  ? 
o  nos  dura  sorte  creates, 

seu  perdidimus  solem  miseri,  880 

sive  expulimus ! 

abeant  questus,  discede,  timor  ! 
vitae  est  avidus  quisquis  non  vult 
mundo  secum  pereunte  mori. 

ATREVS 

Aequalis  astris  gradior  et  cunctos  super 
altum  superbo  vertice  attingens  polum. 
nunc  decora  regni  teneo,  nunc  solium  patris. 
dimitto  superos  ;  summa  votorum  attigi. 
bene  est,  abunde  est,  iam  sat  est  etiam  mihi. 
sed  cur  satis  sit  ?     pergam  et  impleto  patre  1          890 
funere  suorum.2     ne  quid  obstaret  pudor, 
dies  recessit.     perge  dum  caelum  vacat. 
utinam  quidem  tenere  fugientes  deos 
possem  et  coactos  trahere,  ut  ultricem  dapem 
omnes  viderent !     quod  sat  est,  videat  pater, 
etiam  die  nolente  discutiam  tibi 
tenebras,  miseriae  sub  quibus  latitant  tuae. 
nimis  diu  conviva  secure  iaces 
hilarique  vultu,  iam  satis  mensis  datum  est 
satisque  Baccho  ;  sooiio  tanta  ad  mala  900 

opus  est  Thyeste. 

Turba  famularis,  fores 
templi  relaxa,  festa  patefiat  domus. 

1  So  L.  Mutter,  followed  by  Richter :  MSS.  implebo  patrem. 

2  Leo  deletes  lines  890b ,  891 n. 

1  Probably  referring  to  the  golden  ram.     See  11.  223  ff. 

2  i.e.  I  need  make  no  more  prayers  to  them. 

162 


THYESTES 

875  Have  we  of  all  mankind  been  deemed  de- 
serving that  heaven,  its  poles  uptorn,  should  over- 
whelm us  ?  In  our  time  has  the  last  day  come  ? 
Alas  for  us,  by  bitter  fate  begotten,  to  misery 
doomed,  whether  we  have  lost  the  sun  or  banished 
it !  Away  with  lamentations,  begone,  O  fear  ! 
Greedy  indeed  for  life  is  he  who  would  not  die 
when  the  world  is  perishing  in  his  company. 

[Enter  ATREUS,  exulting.] 

ATREUS 

Peer  of  the  stars  I  move,  and,  towering  over  all, 
touch  with  proud  head  the  lofty  heavens.  Now  the 
glory  1  of  the  realm  I  hold,  now  my  father's  throne. 
I  release  the  gods,2  for  the  utmost  of  my  prayers 
have  I  attained.  'Tis  well,  'tis  more  than  well,  now 
'tis  enough  even  for  me.  But  why  enough  ?  Nay, 
I  will  go  forward,  e'en  though  the  father  is  full-fed 
with  his  dead  sons.3  That  shame  might  not  hold 
me  back,  day  has  departed.  On !  while  heaven  is 
tenantless.  O  that  I  might  stay  the  fleeing  deities,4 
might  force  and  draw  them  hither  that  they  all 
might  see  the  avenging  feast !  But  'tis  enough  if 
but  the  father  see.  Even  though  daylight  refuse 
me  aid,  I'll  dispel  the  darkness  from  thee,  beneath 
which  thy  woes  are  lurking.  Too  long  thou  liest  at 
feast  with  care-free  and  cheerful  countenance  ;  now 
enough  time  has  been  given  to  tables,  enough  to 
wine ;  for  such  monstrous  ills  there  needs  Thyestes 
sober.  [To  the  slaves.]  Ye  menial  throng,  open  the 
temple  doors,  let  the  banquet-hall  be  disclosed.  'Tis 

3  The  horror  of  the  draught  of  blood  and  wine  is  still  to 
follow. 

4  i.e.  the  stars  which  have  fled  in  horror  from  the  sky. 

163 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 
libet  videre,  capita  natorum  intuens 
quos  det  colores,  verba  quae  primus  dolor 
effundat  aut  ut  spiritu  expulso  stupens 
corpus  rigescat.      fructus  hie  operis  mei  est. 
miserum  videre  nolo,  sed  dum  fit  miser. 

Aperta  multa  tecta  conlucent  face, 
resupinus  ipse  purpurae  atque  auro  incubat, 
vino  gravatum  fulciens  laeva  caput.  Q10 

eructat.     o  me  caelitum  excelsissimum, 
regum  atque  regem  !     vota  transcendi  mea. 
satur  est,  capaci  ducit  argento  merum — 
ne  parce  potu  ;  restat  etiamnunc  cruor 
tot  hostiarum  ;  veteris  hunc  Bacchi  color 
abscondet.     hoc,  hoc  mensa  cludatur  scypho. 
mixtum  suorum  sanguinem  genitor  bibat : 
meum  bibisset.     ecce,  iam  cantus  ciet 
festasque  voces  nee  satis  menti  imperat. 


THVESTES 


Pectora  longis  hebetata  malis, 
iam  sollicitas  ponite  curas. 
fugiat  maeror  fugiatque  pavor, 
fugiat  trepidi  comes  exilii 
tristis  egestas  rebusque  gravis 
pudor  afflictis  ;  magis  unde  cadas 
quam  quo  refert.     magnum,  ex  alto 
culmine  lapsum  stabilem  in  piano 
figere  gressum  ;  magnum,  ingenti 
164 


THYESTES 

sweet  to  note,  when  he  sees  his  children's  heads, 
what  hue  his  cheeks  display,  what  words  his  first 
grief  pours  forth,  how  his  body,  breathless  with  the 
shock,  grows  stiff.  This  is  the  fruit  of  all  my  toil. 
To  see  him  wretched  I  care  riot,  but  to  see  the 
wretchedness  come  upon  him. 

[The  doors  are  thrown  open,  showing  THYESTES  at  the 

banquet-tabled] 

908  The  open  hall  with  many  a  torch  is  gleaming. 
There  he  himself  reclines  at  full  length  on  gold  and 
purple,  propping  his  wine-heavy  head  on  his  left 
hand.  He  belches  with  content.  Oh,  most  exalted 
of  the  gods  am  I,  and  king  of  kings  !  I  have  o'er- 
topped  my  hopes.  His  meal  is  done  ;  from  the 
great  silver  cup  he  quaffs  the  wine — spare  not  thy 
drinking;  there  still  remains  the  blood  of  all  the 
victims,  and  this  the  colour  of  old  wine  will  well 
disguise.  With  this,  this  goblet  let  the  meal  be 
done.  His  sons'  mingled  blood  let  the  father 
drink ;  he  would  have  drunk  my  own.  Lo,  now  he 
raises  his  joyous  voice  in  song,  nor  well  controls  his 
spirit. 

[THVESTKS  sits  alone  at  the  banquet -table,  half  overcome 
with  wine  ;  he  tries  to  sing  and  be  gay,  but,  in  spile 
of  this,  some  vague  premonition  of  evil  neighs  upon 
his  spirits.] 

THYESTES 

O  heart,  dulled  with  long  miseries,  now  put  aside 
anxious  cares.  Away  with  grief,  away  with  terror, 
away  with  bitter  want,  the  companion  of  hunted 
exiles,  and  shame  that  weighs  heavy  on  misfortune  ; 
more  matters  it  whence  thou  fallest,  than  to  what. 
'Tis  a  great  thing,  when  fall'n  from  a  lofty  pinnacle, 
to  set  foot  firmly  on  the  plain  ;  great,  midst  the 

165 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

strafe  malorum  pressum  fracti 

pondera  regni  non  inHexa  930 

cervice  pati  nee  degenerem 

victurnque  mails  rectum  impositas 

ferre  ruinas.     sed  iam  saevi 

nubila  fati  pelle  ac  miseri 

temporis  omnes  dimitte  notas  ; 

redeant  vultus  ad  laeta  boni, 

veterem  ex  animo  mitte  Thyesten. 

Proprium  hoc  miseros  sequitur  vitium, 
numquam  rebus  credere  laetis  ; 
redeat  felix  fortuna  licet,  94-0 

tamen  afflictos  gaudere  piget. 
quid  me  revocas  f'estumque  vetas 
celebrare  diem,  quid  flere  iubes, 
nulla  surgens  dolor  ex  causa  ? 
quid  me  prohibes  flore  decent! 
vincire  comam  ?     prohibet,  prohibet 
vernae  capiti  fluxere  rosae, 
pingui  madidus  crinis  amomo 
inter  subitos  stetit  horrores, 
imber  vultu  nolente  cadit,  950 

venit  in  medias  voces  gemitus. 
maeror  lacrimas  amat  assuetas, 
flendi  miseris  dira  cupido  est. 
libet  infaustos  mittere  questus, 
libet  et  Tyrio  saturas  ostro 
rumpere  vestes,  ululare  libet. 
mittit  luctus  signa  futuri 
mens,  ante  sui  praesaga  mali ; 
instat  nautis  fen  tempestas, 
cum  sine  vento  tranquilla  tument.  960 

quos  tibi  luctus  quosve  tumultus 
fingis,  demens  ?     credula  praesta 
pectora  fratri.     iam,  quidquid  id  est, 

166 


THYESTES 

ruins  of  huge  and  crushing  woes,  with  unbending 
neck  to  endure  a  wrecked  kingdom's  weight,  and 
with  soul  heroic,  by  woes  unconquered,  erect  to  bear 
the  burden  of  misfortune.  But  now,  banish  the 
clouds  of  bitter  fate,  and  remove  all  marks  of  those 
unhappy  days  ;  greet  present  happiness  with  joyful 
countenance,  and  dismiss  the  old  Thyestes  from  thy 
thoughts. 

938  But  this  peculiar  failing  dogs  the  wretched, 
never  to  believe  that  happiness  is  here ;  though 
lucky  fortune  come  again,  still  they  who  have  suffered 
find  it  hard  to  smile.  Why  dost  restrain  me  and 
oppose  my  celebration  of  this  joyful  day  ?  Why  dost 
bid  me  weep,  O  grief,  that  rises  from  no  cause? 
Why  dost  forbid  with  beauteous  flowers  to  wreathe 
my  hair  ?  It  forbids,  it  does  forbid  !  The  spring 
roses  have  fallen  from  my  head  ;  my  hair,  dripping 
with  precious  nard,  has  started  up  in  sudden  horror, 
a  rain  of  tears  falls  down  my  unwilling  cheeks,  and 
in  the  midst  of  speech  comes  groaning.  Grief  loves 
her  accustomed  tears,  and  to  the  wretched  comes  an 
ominous  desire  for  weeping.  Even  so,  I  long  to 
utter  ill-omened  lamentation,  I  long  to  rend  these  gar- 
ments, rich  dyed  with  Tyrian  purple,  I  long  to  shriek 
aloud.  My  mind  gives  warnings  of  distress  at  hand, 
presaging  its  own  woe  ;  oft  does  a  fierce  storm  draw 
nigh  to  mariners,  when  without  wind  the  tranquil 
waters  heave.  What  distresses,  what  upheavals  dost 
thou  imagine  for  thyself,  thou  fool  ?  Let  thy  heart 
trust  thy  brother.  Already,  whate'er  it  be,  either 

167 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

vel  sine  causa  vel  sero  times, 
nolo  infelix,  sed  vagus  intra 
terror  oberrat,  subitos  fundunt 
oculi  fletus,  nee  causa  subest. 
dolor  an  metus  est  ?     an  habet  lacrimas 
magna  voluptas  ? 

ATREVS 

Festum  diem,  germane,  consensu  pari  970 

celebremus  ;  hie  est,  sceptra  qui  firmet  mea 
solidamque  pacis  alliget  certae  fidem. 

THYESTES 

Satias  dapis  me  nee  minus  Bacchi  tenet, 
augere  cumulus  hie  voluptatem  potest, 
si  cum  meis  gaudere  felici  datur. 

ATREVS 

Hie  esse  natos  crede  in  amplexu  patris  ; 
hie  sunt  eruntque  ;  nulla  pars  prolis  tuae 
tibi  subtrahetur.     ora  quae  exoptas  dabo 
totumque  turba  iam  sua  implebo  patrem. 
satiaberis,  ne  metue.     nunc  mixti  meis  980 

iucunda  mensae  sacra  iuvenilis  colunt; 
sed  accientur.     poculum  infuso  cape 
gentile  Baccho. 

THYESTES 

Capio  fraternae  dapis 
donum  ;  paternis  vina  libentur  deis, 
tune  hauriantur. — sed  quid  hoc  ?     nolunt  manus 
parere,  crescit  pondus  et  dextram  gravat ; 
admotus  ipsis  Bacchus  a  labris  fugit 
168 


THYESTES 

causelessly  or  too  late  thou  fearest.  I  would  fain 
not  be  unhappy,  but  within  me  vague  terror  wanders, 
sudden  tears  pour  from  mine  eyes,  and  all  for  naught. 
Is  it  from  grief  or  fear?  Or  doth  great  joy  hold 
tears  ? 

ATREUS 

[advancing  to  his  brother  with  show  of  effusive  affection] 

With  mutual  accord,  brother,  let  us  keep  this 
festal  day  j  this  is  the  day  which  shall  make  strong 
my  sceptre  and  bind  firm  the  bonds  of  peace  assured. 


THYESTES  [pushing  the  remains  of  the  feast  from 

I  have  had  my  fill  of  food,  and  no  less  of  wine. 
My  pleasure  by  this  crowning  joy  can  be  increased, 
if  with  my  sons  I  may  share  my  happiness. 

ATREUS 

Be  sure  that  here,  in  their  father's  bosom,  are  thy 
sons  ;  —  here  now,  and  here  shall  be  ;  no  one  of  thy 
children  shall  be  taken  from  thee.  The  faces  thou 
desirest  shall  be  thine,  and  wholly  with  his  family 
will  I  fill  the  sire.  Thou  shalt  be  satisfied,  have 
no  fear  of  that.  Just  now,  in  company  with  my 
own,  at  the  children's  table,  they  are  sharing  the 
joyful  feast  ;  but  1  will  summon  them.  Take  thou 
this  cup,  an  heirloom,  filled  with  wine. 

THYESTES 

I  accept  this  bounty  of  my  brother's  feast  ;  let  wine 
be  poured  to  our  ancestral  gods,  and  then  be  quaffed. 
—  But  what  is  this  ?  My  hands  refuse  their  service, 
and  the  cup  grows  heavy  and  weighs  down  my  hand  ; 
the  lifted  wine  recoils  from  my  very  lips;  around  my 

169 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

circaque  rictus  ore  deccpto  fluit 

et  ipsa  trepido  mensa  subsiluit  solo. 

vix  lucet  ignis  ;  ipse  quin  aether  gravis  990 

inter  diem  noctemque  desertus  stupet. 

quid  hoc  ?     magis  magisque  concussi  labant 

convexa  caeli  ;  spissior  densis  coit 

caligo  tenebris  noxque  se  in  noctem  addidit ; 

fugit  omne  sidus.     quidquid  est,  fratri  precor 

natisque  parcat,  omnis  in  vile  hoc  caput 

abeat  procella.     redde  iam  natos  inihi  1 


ATREVS 

Reddam.  et  tibi  illos  nullus  eripiet  dies. 

THYESTKS 

Quis  hie  tumultus  viscera  exagitat  mea  ? 
quid  tremuit  intus  ?     sentio  impatiens  onus          1000 
meumque  gemitu  non  meo  pectus  gemit. 
adeste,  nati,  genitor  infelix  vocat, 
adeste.     visis  fugiet  hie  vobis  dolor — 
unde  oblocuntur  ? 

ATllEVS 

Expedi  amplexus,  pater; 
venere. — natos  ecquid  agnoscis  tuos  ? 

THYESTES 

Agnosco  fratrem.     sustines  tantum  nefas 
gestare,  Tellus  ?     non  ad  infernam  St yga 
tenebrasque  rnergis  rupta  et  ingenti  via 


1  Time  itself,  as  indicated  by  the  heavens,  is  in  suspense. 
170 


THYESTES 

gaping  jaws,  cheating  my  mouth,  it  flows,  and  the  very 
table  leaps  up  from  the  trembling  floor.  The  lights 
burn  dim  ;  nay,  the  very  heavens,  grown  heavy,  stand 
in  amaze  'twixt  day  and  night,1  deserted.2  What  next  ? 
Now  more,  still  more  the  vault  of  the  shattered  sky 
is  tottering ;  a  thicker  gloom  with  dense  shades  is 
gathering,  and  night  has  hidden  away  in  a  blacker 
night;  every  star  is  in  full  flight.  Whate'er  it  is,  I 
beg  it  may  spare  my  brother  and  my  sous,  and  may 
the  storm  break  with  all  its  force  on  this  vile  head. 
Give  back  now  my  sons  to  me ! 

ATREUS 

I  will  give  them  back,  and  no  day  shall  tear  them 
from  thee.  [Exif. 

THYESTES 

What  is  this  tumult  that  disturbs  my  vitals?  What 
trembles  in  me  ?  t  feel  a  load  that  will  not  suffer 
me,  and  my  breast  groans  with  a  groaning  that  is 
not  mine.  O  come,  my  sons,  your  unhappy  father 
calls  you,  come ;  this  pain  will  pass  away  at  the  sight 
of  you — whence  come  their  reproachful  voices  ? 
[Re-enter  ATREUS  with  a  covered  platter  in  his  hands.] 

ATREUS 

Now,  father,  spread  out  thine  arms ;  they  are  here. 
[He  uncovers  the  platter,  revealing  the  severed  heads  of 
THYESTES'  so7is.]     Dost  recognize  thy  sons? 

THYESTES 

I  recognize  my  brother.  Canst  thou  endure,  O 
Earth,  to  bear  a  crime  so  monstrous  ?  Why  dost  not 
burst  asunder  and  plunge  thee  down  to  the  infernal 

8  i.e.  by  sun,  moon,  and  stars. 

171 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ad  chaos  inane  regna  cum  rege  abripis  ? 

non  tota  ab  imo  tecta  convellens  solo  1010 

vertis  Mycenas  ?     stare  circa  Tantalum 

uterque  iam  debuimus.     hinc  compagibus 

et  hinc  revulsis,  si  quid  infra  Tartara  est 

avosque  nostros,  hue  tuam  inmani  sinu 

demitte  vallem  nosque  defossos  tege 

Acheronte  toto.     noxiae  supra  caput 

animae  vagentur  nostrum  et  ardenti  freto 

Phlegethon  harenas  igneus  totas  agens 

exilia  supra  nostra  violentus  fluat — 

immota  tellus  pondus  ignavum  iacet,  1020 

fugere  superi. 

ATREVS 

Iam  accipe  hos  potius  libens 
diu  expetitos.     nulla  per  fratrem  est  mora  ; 
fruere,  osculare,  divide  amplexus  tribus. 

THYESTES 

Hoc  foedus  ?     haec  est  gratia,  haec  fratris  fides  ? 
sic  odia  ponis  ?     non  peto,  incolumes  pater 
natos  ut  habeam ;  scelere  quod  salvo  dari 
odioque  possit,  frater  hoc  fratrem  rogo  : 
sepelire  liceat.     redde  quod  cernas  statim 
uri ;  nihil  te  genitor  habiturus  rogo, 
sed  perditurus. 

ATREVS 

Quidquid  e  natis  tuis  1030 

superest  habes,  quodcumque  non  superest  habes. 


172 


THYESTES 

Stygian  shades  and,  by  a  huge  opening  to  void  chaos, 
snatch  this  kingdom  with  its  king  away  ?  Why  dost 
not  raze  this  whole  palace  to  the  very  ground,  and 
overturn  Mycenae  ?  We  should  both  of  us  long  since 
have  been  with  Tantalus.  Rend  asunder  thy  prison- 
bars  on  every  side,  and  if  there  is  any  place  'neath 
Tartarus  and  our  grandsires,1  thither  with  huge  abyss 
let  down  thy  chasm  and  hide  us  buried  beneath  all 
Acheron.  Let  guilty  souls  wander  above  our  head, 
and  let  fiery  Phlegethon,  with  glowing  flood  down- 
pouring  all  his  sands,  flow  tempestuous  above  our 
place  of  exile — but  the  earth  lies  all  unmoved,  an 
insensate  mass ;  the  gods  have  fled  away. 

ATREUS 

Now,  rather,  take  these  with  joy,  whom  thou  hast 
so  long  desired.  Thy  brother  delays  thee  not ;  enjoy 
them,  kiss  them,  divide  thy  embraces  'mongst  the 
three. 

THYESTES 

Is  this  thy  bond?  Is  this  thy  grace,  this  thy 
fraternal  pledge  ?  Thus  puttest  thou  hate  away  ? 
I  do  not  ask  that  I,  a  father,  may  have  my  sons  un- 
harmed ;  what  can  be  granted  with  crime  and  hate 
intact,  this  I,  a  brother,  of  a  brother  ask :  that  I  may 
bury  them.  Give  me  back  what  thou  mayst  see 
burned  at  once.  The  father  asks  naught  of  thee 
with  hopes  of  having,  but  of  losing  it. 

ATIIEUS 

Whatever  of  thy  sons  is  left,  thou  hast ;  whatever 
is  not  left,  thou  hast. 

1  He   means   Tantalus   alone,    using    the    plural    for    the 
singular  by  enallage. 

173 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

THYESTES 

Vtrumne  saevis  pabulum  alitibus  iacent, 
an  beluis  servantur,  an  pascunt  feras  ? 

ATREVS 
Epulatus  ipse  es  impia  natos  dape. 

THYESTES 

Hoc  est  deos  quod  puduit,  hoc  egit  diem 
aversum  in  ortus.     quas  miser  voces  dabo 
questusque  quos  ?     quae  verba  sufficient  mihi  ? 
abscisa  cerno  capita  et  avulsas  manus 
et  rupta  fractis  cruribus  vestigia — 
hoc  est  quod  avidus  capere  non  potuit  pater.        1040 
volvuntur  intus  viscera  et  clusum  nefas 
sine  exitu  luctatur  et  quaerit  fugam. 
da,  frater,  ensem  (sanguinis  multum  mei 
habet  ille)  ;  ferro  liberis  detur  via. 
negatur  ensis  ?     pectora  inliso  sonent 
contusa  planctu — sustine,  infelix,  manum, 
parcamus  umbris.     tale  quis  vidit  nefas  ? 
quis  inhospitalis  Caucasi  rupem  asperam 
Heniochus  habitans  quisve  Cecropiis  metus 
terris  Procrustes?     genitor  en  natos  premo  1050 

premorque  natis — sceleris  est  aliquis  modus  ? 


ATREVS 

Sceleri  modus  debetur  ubi  facias  scelus, 
non  ubi  reponas.      hoc  quoque  exiguum  est  mihi. 
ex  vulnere  ipso  sanguinem  calidum  in  tua 
defundere  ora  debui,  ut  viventium 
biberes  cruorem — verba  sunt  irae  data 

174 


THYESTES 

THYESTKS 

Do  they  lie  a  prey  for  the  wild  birds?  Are  they 
reserved  for  monsters  ?  Are  they  food  for  beasts  ? 

ATHEUS 
Thyself  hast  feasted  on  thy  sons,  an  impious  meal. 

THYESTES 

'Twas  this  that  shamed  the  gods  ;  this  drove  the 
day  back  against  its  dawning.  What  cries  in  my 
misery  shall  I  utter,  what  complaints  ?  What  words 
will  suffice  for  me  ?  I  see  the  severed  heads,  the 
torn-oflf  hands,  the  feet  wrenched  from  the  broken 
legs — this  much  the  father,  for  all  his  greed,  could 
not  devour.  Their  flesh  is  turning  round  within  me, 
and  my  imprisoned  crime  struggles  vainly  to  come 
forth  and  seeks  way  of  escape.  Give  me  thy  sword, 
O  brother,  the  sword  reeking  with  my  blood ;  by  the 
steel  let  deliverance  be  given  to  my  sons.  Dost 
refuse  the  sword  ?  Then  let  my  breast  resound, 
bruised  by  crushing  blows — hold  thy  hand,  unhappy 
man,  let  us  spare  the  shades.  Who  ever  beheld  such 
crime?  What  Heniochian,  dwelling  on  wild  Caucasus' 
rough  rocks,  or  what  Procrustes,  terror  of  the  Ce- 
cropian  land?  Lo,  I,  the  father,  overwhelm  my  sons, 
and  by  my  sons  am  overwhelmed — of  crime  is  there 
no  limit  ? 

ATREUS 

Crime  should  have  limit,  when  the  crime  is  wrought, 
not  when  repaid.  E'en  this  is  not  enough  for  me. 
Straight  from  the  very  wound  I  should  have  poured 
the  hot  blood  down  thy  throat,  that  thou  mightst 
drink  gore  of  thy  living  sons — my  wrath  was  cheated 

175 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

dum  propero.     ferro  vulnera  impresso  dedi, 

cecidi  ad  aras,  caede  votiva  focos 

placavi  et  artus,  corpora  exanima  amputans, 

in  parva  carpsi  frusta  et  haec  ferventibus  1060 

demersi  aenis,  ilia  lentis  ignibus 

stillare  iussi.     membra  nervosque  abscidi 

viventibus,  gracilique  traiectas  veru 

mugire  fibras  vidi  et  aggessi  manu 

mea  ipse  flammas.     omnia  haec  melius  pater 

fecisse  potuit,  cecidit  in  cassum  dolor : 

scidit  ore  natos  impio,  sed  nesciens, 

sed  nescientes 

THVESTES 
Clausa  litoribus  vagis 

n 

audite  rnaria,  vos  quoque  audite  hoc  seel  us, 

quocumque,  di,  fugistis  ;  audite  inferi,  1070 

audite  terrae,  Noxque  Tartarea  gravis 

et  atra  nube,  vocibus  nostris  vaca 

(tibi  sum  relictus,  sola  tu  miserum  vides, 

tu  quoque  sine  astris),  vota  non  faciam  improba, 

pro  me  nihil  precabor — et  quid  iam  potest 

pro  me  esse  ?     vobis  vota  prospicient  mea. 

tu,  summe  caeli  rector,  aetheriae  potens 

dominator  aulae,  nubibus  totum  horridis 

convolve  mundum,  bella  ventorum  undique 

committe  et  omni  parte  violentum  intona,  1080 

manuque  1  non  qua  tecta  et  immeritas  domos 

telo  petis  minore,  sed  qua  montium 

tergemina  moles  cecidit  et  qui  montibus 

stabant  pares  Gigantes, — haec  arma  expcdi 

1  So  A  :  Leo,  with  E,  manumque. 


THYESTES 

by  my  haste.  With  the  deep-driven  sword  I  smote 
them ;  I  slew  them  at  the  altars ;  with  their  offered 
blood  I  appeased  the  sacred  fires  ;  hewing  their  life- 
less bodies,  into  small  scraps  I  tore  them,  and  some 
into  boiling  cauldrons  did  I  plunge,  and  some  before 
slow  fires  I  set  to  drip.  Their  limbs  and  sinews  1 
rent  asunder  while  still  they  lived,  and  their  livers, 
transfixed  on  slender  spits  and  sputtering  I  saw,  and 
with  my  own  hand  I  fed  the  flames.  All  these  things 
better  the  father  might  have  done  ;  my  grief  has 
fallen  fruitless ;  with  impious  teeth  he  tore  his  sons, 
but  unwittingly,  but  them  unwitting.1 

THYESTES 

Hear,  O  ye  seas,  by  shifting  shores  imprisoned,  and 
ye,  too,  hear  this  crime,  whithersoever  you  have  fled, 
ye  gods  ;  hear,  lords  of  the  underworld  ;  hear,  lands, 
and  Night,  heavy  with  black,  Tartarean  fogs,  give  ear 
unto  my  cries  ;  (to  thee  am  I  abandoned,  thou  only 
lookest  on  my  woe,  thou  also  forsaken  of  the  stars  ;) 
no  wicked  pleas  will  I  make,  naught  for  myself  im- 
plore— and  what  now  can  I  ask  in  my  own  behalf? 
For  you2  shall  my  prayers  be  offered.  O  thou,  ex- 
alted ruler  of  the  sky,  who  sittest  in  majesty  upon 
the  throne  of  heaven,  enwrap  the  whole  universe  in 
awful  clouds,  set  the  winds  warring  011  every  hand, 
and  from  every  quarter  of  the  sky  let  the  loud 
thunders  roll ;  not  with  what  hand  thou  seekest 
houses  and  undeserving  homes,  using  thy  lesser  bolts, 
but  with  that  hand  by  which  the  threefold  mass  of 
mountains  fell,  and  the  Giants,  who  stood  level  with 

1  Atreus  would  have  had  both  father  and  sons  conscious  of 
what  they  did  and  suffered. 

a  i.e.  the  gods  of  heaven,  who  have  fled  from  the  sight  of 
crime,  and  whom  he  now  addresses. 

177 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ignesque  torque,     vindica  amissum  diem, 

iaculare  flammas,  lumen  ereptum  polo 

fulminibus  exple.      causa,  ne  dubites  diu, 

utriusque  mala  sit ;  si  minus,  mala  sit  mea  : 

me  pete,  trisulco  flammeam  telo  facem 

per  pectus  hoc  transmitte.     si  natos  pater  1090 

humare  et  igni  tradere  extremo  volo, 

ego  sum  cremandus.     si  nihil  superos  movet 

nullumque  telis  impios  numen  petit, 

aeterna  nox  permaneat  et  tenebris  tegat 

inmensa  longis  scelera.     nil,  Titan,  queror, 

si  perseveras. 

ATREVS 

Nunc  meas  laudo  manus, 

nunc  parta  vera  est  palma.     perdideram  scelus, 
nisi  sic  doleres.     liberos  nasci  inihi 
nunc  credo,  castis  nunc  fidem  reddi  toris. 

THYESTES 

Quid  liberi  meruere  ? 

ATREVS 

Quod  fuerant  tui.  1100 

THYESTES 

Natos  parenti 


ATREVS 

Fateor  et,  quod  me  iuvat, 


certos. 
178 


THYESTES 

the  mountains — these  arms  let  loose  and  hurl  thy 
fires.  Make  compensation  for  the  banished  day, 
brandish  thy  flames,  and  the  light  that  was  snatched 
from  heaven  with  thy  lightning's  flash  supply.  Let 
the  cause,  lest  long  thou  hesitate,  of  each  one  of  us 
be  evil ;  if  not,  let  mine  be  evil ;  aim  thou  at  me, 
through  this  heart  send  thy  three-forked  flaming 
bolt.  If  I  their  father  would  give  his  sons  to  burial 
and  commit  them  to  the  funeral  flames,  I  must 
myself  be  burned.  But  if  naught  moves  the  gods., 
and  no  divinity  hurls  darts  against  the  impious,  may 
night  stay  on  for  ever,  and  cover  with  endless  dark- 
ness boundless  crimes.  No  protest  do  I  make,  O 
sun,  if  thou  continue  steadfast.1 

ATREUS 

Now  do  I  praise  my  handiwork,  now  is  the  true 
palm  won.  I  had  wasted  my  crime,  didst  thou  not 
suffer  thus.  Now  do  I  believe  my  children  are  my 
own,  now  may  I  trust  once  more  that  my  marriage- 
bed  is  pure. 

THYESTES 

What  was  my  children's  sin  ? 

ATREUS 
That  they  were  thine. 

THYESTES 

Sons  to  the  father 2 

ATREUS 

Yea,  and  what  gives  me  joy,  surely  thy  sons. 

1  i.e.  in  hiding  thy  face,  as  at  present. 

2  thou  didst  give  to  be  devoured. 

179 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

THVESTES 

Piorum  praesides  tester  deos. 

ATREVS 

Quin  coniugales? 

THYESTES 

Scelere  quis  pensat  scelus  ? 

ATREVS 

Scio  quid  queraris :  scelere  praerepto  doles, 
nee  quod  nefandas  hauseris  angit  dapes  ; 
quod  non  pararis.     fuerat  hie  animus  tibi 
instruere  similes  inscio  fratri  cibos 
et  adiuvante  liberos  matre  aggredi 
similique  leto  sternere.     hoc  unum  obstitit — 
tuos  putasti. 

THYESTES 

Vindices  aderunt  dei ;  1110 

his  puniendum  vota  te  tradunt  mea. 

ATREVS 
Te  puniendum  liberis  trado  tuis. 


80 


THYESTES 

THYESTES 

I  call  on  the  gods  who  guard  the  innocent. 

ATREUS 

Why  not  the  marriage-gods  ? 

THYESTES 

Who  punishes  crime  with  crime  ? 

ATREUS 

I  know  what  thou  complainst  of:  thou  grievest 
that  I  have  forestalled  thee  in  the  crime,  and  art 
distressed,  not  because  thou  hast  consumed  the 
ghastly  feast,  but  because  thou  didst  not  offer  it 
to  me.  This  had  been  thy  purpose,  to  prepare  for 
thine  unwitting  brother  a  like  feast,  and  with  their 
mother's  aid  to  assail  his  sons  and  lay  them  low  in 
like  destruction.  This  one  thing  stayed  thee — thou 
didst  think  them  thine. 

THYESTES 

The  gods  will  be  present  to  avenge ;  to  them  for 
punishment  my  prayers  deliver  thee. 

ATREUS 
To  thy  sons  for  punishment  do  J  deliver  thee. 


181 


HERCVLES   OETAEVS 


DRAMATIS   PERSONAE 

HERCULES,  son  of  Jupiter  and  Alcmena. 
HYLLUS,  son  of  Hercules  and  Deianira. 
ALCMENA,  daughter  of  Electry on ,  king  of  Mycenae. 

DEIANIRA,  daughter  of  Oeneus,  king  of  Aetolia,  and  wife  of 
Hercules. 

IOLE,  daughter  of  Eurytus,  king  of  Oechalia. 
NURSE  of  Deianira. 

PHILOCTETKS,  a  prince  of  Thessaly,  son  of  Poeas,  and  the 
faithful  friend  of  Hercules. 

LICHAS,  the  messenger  (persona  muta)  of  Deianira  to  Hercules. 
CHORUS  of  Aetolian  women,  faithful  to  Deianira. 

CHORUS  of  Oechalian  maidens,  suffering  captivity  in  company 
with  lole. 

THE  SCENE  is  laid,  first  in  Euboea,  and  later  at  the  home 
of  Hercules  in  Trachin. 


ARGUMENT 

THE  long,  heroic  life  of  Hercules  has  neared  its  end. 
His  twelve  great  tasks,  assigned  him  by  Eurystheus 
through  Juno's  haired,  have  been  done.  His  latest 
victory  was  over  Eurytus,  king  of  Occhalia.  Him  he 
slew  and  overthrew  his  house,  because  the  monarch  would 
not  give  him  lole  to  wife. 

And  now  the  hero,  having  overcome  the  world,  and 
Pluto's  realm  beneath  the  earth,  aspires  to  heaven.  He 
sacrifices  to  Cenaean  Jove,  and  prays  at  last  to  be 
received  into  his  proper  hone. 


HERCVLES   OETAEVS 


HERCVLES 

SATOR  deorum,  cuius  excussum  manu 
utraeque  Phoebi  sentiunt  fulmen  domus, 
secure  regna  ;  protuli  pacem  tibi, 
quacumque  Nereus  porrigi  terras  vetat. 
non  est  tonandum  ;  perfidi  reges  iacent, 
saevi  tyranni.     freginius  quidquid  fuit 
tibi  fulminandum.      sed  mihi  caelum,  parens, 
adhuc  negatur  ?     parui  certe  love 
ubique  dignus  teque  testata  est  meuin 
patrem  noverca.     quid  tamen  nectis  rnoras  ?  10 

numquid  timemur  ?     numquid  impositum  sibi 
non  poterit  Atlas  ferre  cum  caelo  Herculem? 
quid  astra,  genitor,  quid  negas  ?     mors  me  tibi 
certe  remisit,  omne  concessit  malum 
quod  terra  genuit,  pontus  aer  inferi. 
nullus  per  urbes  errat  Arcadias  leo, 
Stymphalis  icta  est,  Maenali  nulla  est  fera ; 
sparsit  peremptus  aureum  serpeiis  nemus 
et  hydra  vires  posuit  et  iiotos  Hebro 
cruore  pingues  hospitum  fregi  greges  20 


1  East  and  West,  or  both  hemispheres. 

2  The  Arcadian  stag.     Its  capture  was  the  third  labour  of 
Hercules. 

186 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

[  In  Euboea,  near  Oechalia,  after  the  overthrow  of  Eurytus, 

king  of  that  city.] 

HERCULES 

O  SIRE  of  gods,  hurled  by  whose  hand  both  homes  1 
of  Phoebus  feel  the  thunderbolt,  reign  thou  un- 
troubled ;  peace  have  I  'stablished  for  thee  wherever 
Nereus  forbids  the  land  to  extend  its  bounds.  Thou 
needst  not  thunder  now ;  false  kings  lie  low,  and 
cruel  tyrants.  I  have  crushed  all  who  merited  thy 
bolts.  But  to  me,  father,  is  heaven  still  denied? 
Of  a  surety  have  I  everywhere  proved  worthy  Jove ; 
arid  that  thou  art  sire  of  mine  my  stepdame  testifies. 
Yet  why  dost  still  contrive  delays  ?  Am  I  cause  of 
fear  ?  Will  Atlas  not  avail  to  bear  up  Hercules 
placed  upon  him  together  with  the  sky  ?  Why,  O 
father,  why  dost  thou  deny  the  stars  to  me  ?  Verily 
hath  death  given  me  back  to  thee  ;  and  every  evil 
thing  which  earth,  sea,  air,  the  lower  world,  produced, 
hath  yielded  to  my  might.  No  lion  prowls  amidst 
Arcadia's  towns ;  the  Stymphalian  bird  is  smitten ; 
the  beast  of  Maenalus2  is  no  more;  the  dragon,3 
slain,  hath  sprinkled  the  golden  orchard  with  his 
blood  ;  the  hydra's 4  strength  is  gone ;  the  herds,5 
well  known  to  Hebrus,  fat  with  strangers'  blood,  have 

3  Which  guarded  the  apples  of  the  Hesperides.     See  Index 
s.v.  "  Hesperides." 

4  See  Index.  6  i.e.  of  Diomedes. 

187 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

hostisque  traxi  spolia  Thermodontiae. 
vidi  silentum  fata  nee  tantum  redi, 
sed  trepidus  atrum  Cerberum  vidit  dies 
et  ille  solem.     nullus  Antaeus  Libys 
animam  resumit,  cecidit  ante  aras  suas 
Busiris,  una  est  Geryon  sparsus  manu 
taurusque  populis  horridus  centum  pavor. 
quodcumque  tellus  genuit  infesta  occidit 
meaque  fusum  est  dextera ;  iratis  dels 
non  licuit  esse. 

Si  negat  mundus  feras  SO 

~  nimum  noverca,1  redde  nunc  nato  patrem 
vel  astra  forti.     nee  peto  ut  monstres  iter  ; 
permitte  tantum,  genitor  ;  inveniam  viam. 
vel  si  times  ne  terra  concipiat  feras, 
properet  malum  quodcumque,  dum  terra  Herculem 
habet  videtque  ;  nam  quis  invadet  mala 
aut  quis  per  urbes  rursus  Argolicas  erit 
lunonis  odio  dignus  ?     in  tutum  meas 
laudes  redegi,  nulla  me  tellus  silet. 
me  sensit  ursae  frigidum  Scythicae  genus  40 

Indusque  Phoebo  subditus,  cancro  Libys. 
te,  clare  Titan,  tester  :  occurri  tibi 
quacumque  fulges,  nee  meos  lux  prosequi 
potuit  triumphos,  solis  excessi  vices 
intraque  nostras  substitit  metas  dies, 
natura  cessit,  terra  defecit  gradum  : 
lassata  prior  est.     nox  et  extremum  chaos 

1  So  Richter,  with  A  :  Leo  f  animum  novercam,  conjecturing 
tandem  novercae. 

1  i.e.  the  golden  girdle  of  Hippolyte,  queen  of  the  Amazons. 

2  The  gods,  in  wrath,  were  supposed  to  have  sent  monsters 
on  the  earth,  and  by  slaying  these  Hercules  has  frustrated 
that  wrath. 

188 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

I  destroyed,  and  have  brought  away  Thermodon's 
spoils  l  of  war.  The  lot  of  the  silent  throng  have  1 
beheld ;  and  not  alone  have  I  returned,  but  shuddering 
day  hath  seen  black  Cerberus,  and  he  the  sun.  No 
longer  doth  the  Libyan  Antaeus  renew  his  strength  ; 
before  his  own  altars  hath  Busiris  fallen  ;  by  my  sole 
hand  hath  Geryon  been  o'erthrown,  and  the  bull, 
dread  terror  of  a  hundred  tribes.  Whatever  hostile 
earth  hath  'gendered  is  fallen,  by  my  right  hand 
laid  low ;  the  anger  of  the  gods  hath  been  set  at 
naught.2 

30  If  the  earth  is  done  with  monsters,  if  my  step- 
dame  is  done  with  wrath,  give  back  now  the  father  to 
his  son,  yea,  the  stars  unto  the  hero.  I  ask  thee  not 
to  show  the  way  to  me  ;  but  grant  thy  permission, 
father,  and  the  way  I'll  find.  Or,  if  thou  fearest  that 
earth  shall  yet  give  birth  to  monsters,  let  the  ill  make 
haste,  whate'er  it  be,  while  yet  the  earth  doth  hold 
and  look  on  Hercules  ;  for  who  else  will  attack  evil 
things,  or  who,  throughout  the  Argive  cities,  will  be 
worthy  Juno's  hate  ?  I  have  my  honours  safe  be- 
stowed ;  there  is  no  land  but  sings  my  praise.  The 
race  that  shivers  'neath  the  Scythian  Bear3  hath 
known  me  ;  the  sun-scorched  Indian  and  the  tropic 
African.  O  glowing  Sun,  bear  witness :  I  have 
encountered  thee  where'er  thou  shinest,  nor  could 
thy  beams  keep  pace  with  my  triumphant  course  ; 
I  have  gone  beyond  the  changes  of  the  sun,  and  day 
hath  halted  far  within  my  bounds.  Nature  hath 
yielded  to  me,  and  earth  hath  failed  my  feet ;  she 
hath  been  weary  first.4  Night  and  utter  chaos  have 

3  i.e.  the  Scythians,  dwelling  far  north  beneath  the  Bear. 

4  It  is  as  if  the  whole  earth,  trying  to  keep  pace  with 
Hercules,   and  to  give  him  new   land   to  travel  over,  has 
become  weary  of  the  attempt. 

189 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

in  me  incucurrit ;  inde  ad  hunc  orbem  redi, 

nemo  unde  retro  est.     tulimus  Oceani  minas, 

nee  ulla  valuit  quatere  tempestas  ratem  50 

quamcumque  pressi.     pars  quota  est  Perseus  mei  ? 

iam  vacuus  aether  non  potest  odio  tuae 

sufficere  nuptae  quasque  devincam  feras 

tellus  timet  concipere  nee  monstra  invenit. 

ferae  negantur;   Hercules  monstri  loco 

iam  coepit  esse.     quanta  enim  fregi  mala, 

quot  scelera  nudus  !     quidquid  irnmane  obstitit, 

solae  manus  stravere  ;  nee  itivenis  feras 

timui  nee  infans.     quidquid  est  iussum  leve  est, 

nee  ulla  nobis  segnis  illuxit  dies.  60 

o  quanta  fudi  monstra  quae  nullus  mihi 

rex  imperavit !     institit  virtus  mihi 

lunone  peior. 

Sed  quid  inpavidum  genus 
fecisse  prodest  ?     non  habent  pacem  dei ; 
purgata  tellus  omnis  in  caelo  videt 
quodcumque  timuit ;  transtulit  luno  feras. 
ambit  peremptus  cancer  ardentem  plagam 
Libyaeque  sidus  fertur  et  messes  alit ; 
annum  fugacem  tradit  Astraeae  leo, 
at  ille,  iactans  fervidam  collo  iubam,  70 

austrum  madentem  siccat  et  nimbos  rapit. 
invasit  omnis  ecce  iam  caelum  fera 
meque  antecessit ;  victor  e  terris  meos 
specto  labores,  astra  portentis  prius 

1  i.e.  he  is  the  only  unconquered  creature  left  on  earth— a 
marvel,  past  the  bounds  of  nature. 

2  On  the  very  day  of  his  birth  he  killed  two  huge  snakes 
which  Juno  sent  against  him.  3  i.e.  Eurystheus. 

190 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

assailed  me,  and  thence  to  this  world  have  1  come 
asrain  whence  none  e'er  returns.  I  have  borne 

o 

Ocean's  threats,  and  no  storm  of  his  has  availed  to 
wreck  the  ship  which  I  have  weighted  down.  How 
trivial  Perseus'  deeds  compared  with  mine  !  Now 
can  the  empty  air  no  more  suffice  the  hatred  of  thy 
wife,  and  earth  fears  to  produce  beasts  for  me  to 
conquer,  nor  can  she  find  monsters  more.  Beasts  are 
at  end  ;  'tis  Hercules  now  begins  to  hold  the  place 
of  monster.1  For  how  great  evils  have  I  crushed, 
how  many  crimes,  and  all  unarmed  !  Whatever 
monstrous  thing  opposed  me,  with  but  my  hands  I 
laid  it  low ;  nor  was  there  ever  savage  thing  which 
as  youth  or  babe 2  I  feared.  All  my  commanded 
toils  seem  light,  and  no  inactive  day  has  ever  dawned 
for  me.  Oh,  how  great  monsters  have  I  overthrown, 
which  no  king  3  bade  me  meet !  My  courage,  more 
relentless  than  Juno's  self,  has  urged  me  on. 

63  But  what  avails  it  to  have  freed  the  race  of  men 
from  fear  ?  Now  have  the  gods  no  peace  ;  the  freed 
earth  sees  in  the  sky  all  creatures  which  she  feared  ; 
for  there  hath  Juno  set  them.4  The  crab  I  slew 
goes  round  the  torrid  zone,  is  known  as  Libya's 
constellation,6  and  matures  her  grain ;  the  lion  to 
Astraea  gives  the  flying  year;6  but  he,  his  burning 
mane  upon  his  neck  back  tossing,  dries  up  the 
dripping  south-wind  and  devours  the  clouds.  Behold, 
now  has  every  beast  invaded  heaven,  forestalling  me  ; 
though  victor,  I  gaze  upon  my  labours  from  the 
earth  ;  for  to  monsters  first  and  to  wild  beasts  has 

4  i.e.  she  has  changed  them  to  constellations  in  the  sky. 

5  The  zodiacal  constellation  of  the  Crab,  in  which  the  sun 
attains  his  summer  solstice. 

6  i.e.  the  sun  passes  from  Leo  into  Virgo.     For  Astrea  see 
Index,  s.v. 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ferisque  luno  tribuit,  ut  caelum  mihi 

faceret  timendum.     sparserit  mundum  licet 

caelumque  terris  peius  ac  peius  Styge 

irata  faciat,  dabitur  Alcidae  locus. 

si  post  feras,  post  bella,  post  Stygium  canem 

baud  dum  astra  merui,  Siculus  Hesperium  latus      80 

tangat  Pelorus,  una  iam  tellus  erit ; 

illinc  fugabo  maria.     si  iungi  iubes, 

committat  undas  Isthmos,  et  iuncto  salo 

nova  ferantur  Atticae  puppes  via. 

mutetur  orbis  :  vallibus  currat  novis 

Hister  novasque  Tanais  accipiat  vias. 

da,  da  tuendos,  luppiter,  saltern  deos  ; 

ilia  licebit  fulmen  a  parte  auferas, 

ego  quam  tuebor.     sive  glacialem  polum, 

seu  me  tueri  fervidam  partem  iubes,  9^ 

hac  esse  superos  parte  secures  puta. 

Cirrhaea  Paean  templa  et  aetheriam  domum 

serpente  caeso  meruit — o  quotiens  iacet 

Python  in  hydra !     Bacchus  et  Perseus  deis 

iam  se  intulere  ;  sed  quota  est  mundi  plaga 

oriens  subactus  aut  quota  est  Gorgon  fera ! 

quis  astra  natus  laudibus  meruit  suis 

ex  te  et  noverca  ?     quern  tuli  mundum  peto. 

Sed  tu,  comes  laboris  Herculei,  Licha, 
perfer  triumphos,  Euryti  victos  lares  100 

stratumque  regnum.     vos  pecus  rapite  ocius 

1  i.e.  Italian. 

8  The  Isthmus  of  Corinth. 

192 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

Juno  given  stars,  that  to  me  she  might  make  the  sky 
a  place  of  dread.  Yet,  though  in  her  rage  she  scatter 
them  o'er  the  sky,  though  she  make  heaven  worse 
than  earth,  yea,  worse  than  Styx,  to  Alcides  shall 
room  be  given.  If  after  beasts,  after  wars,  after 
the  Stygian  dog,  I  have  not  yet  earned  the  stars,  let 
Sicilian  Pelorus  touch  the  Hesperian  l  shore,  and  they 
both  shall  become  one  land ;  thence  will  I  put  seas 
to  flight.  If  thou  bidst  seas  be  joined,  let  Isthmus  2 
give  passage  to  the  waves  and  on  their  united  waters 
let  Attic  ships  along  a  new  way  be  borne.  Let 
earth  be  changed ;  along  new  valleys  let  Ister  run 
and  Tanai's  receive  new  channels.  Give,  give  me, 
O  Jupiter,  at  least  the  gods  to  guard  ;  there  mayst 
thou  put  aside  thy  thunderbolts  where  I  shall  be  on 
guard.  Whether  thou  bidst  me  guard  the  icy  pole, 
whether  the  torrid  zone,  there  count  the  gods  secure. 
Cirrha's  shrine3  and  a  place  in  heaven  did  Pean4 
earn  by  one  serpent's 5  slaughter — oh,  how  many 
Pythons  in  the  hydra  lie  o'erthrown  !  Already  have 
Bacchus  and  Perseus  reached  the  gods  ;  but  how 
small  a  tract  of  earth  was  the  conquered  east,6  or  how 
meagre  a  spoil  was  Gorgon  ! 7  what  son  of  thine  and 
of  my  stepdame  has  by  his  praises  merited  the 
stars  ?  I  seek  the  skies  which  I  myself  have  borne.8 

[He  turns  to  Lie  HAS] 

99  But  do  thou,  Lichas,  comrade  of  the  toils  of 
Hercules,  proclaim  his  triumphs — the  conquered 
house  of  Eurytus,  his  kingdom  overthrown.  [To  the 
other  attendants.]  Do  you  with  speed  drive  the 

8  i.e.  Delphi.         4  Apollo.         5  The  Python. 

6  i.e.  India,  the  scene  of  Bacchus'  conquests. 

7  Slain  by  Perseus. 

*  i.e.  when  he  relieved  Atlas  of  his  burden. 

193 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

qua  templa  tollens  acta  Cenaei  lovis 
austro  timendum  spectat  Euboicum  mare. 

CHORVS 

Par  ille  est  superis  cui  pariter  dies 
et  fortuna  fuit ;  mortis  habet  vices 
lente  cum  trahitur  vita  gementibus. 
quisquis  sub  pedibus  fata  rapacia 
et  puppem  posuit  fluminis  ultimi, 
non  captiva  dabit  bracchia  vinculis 
nee  pompae  veniet  nobile  ferculum  ;  110 

numquam  est  ille  miser  cui  facile  est  mori. 
ilium  si  medio  decipiat  ratis 
ponto,  cum  Borean  expulit  Africus 
aut  Eurus  Zephyrum,  cum  mare  dividunt, 
non  puppis  lacerae  fragmina  conligit, 
ut  litus  medio  speret  in  aequore ; 
vitam  qui  poterit  reddere  protinus, 
solus  non  poterit  naufragium  pati. 

Nos  turpis  macies  et  lacrimae  tenent 
et  crinis  patrio  pulvere  sordidus  ;  1 20 

nos  non  flamma  rapax,  non  fragor  obruit. 
felices  sequeris,  mors,  miseros  fugis. 
stamus,  nee  patriae  l  messibus  2  heu  locus 
at3  silvis  dabitur,  lapsaque  sordidae 
fient  templa  casae  ;  iam  gelidus  Dolops 
hac  ducet  pecudes  qua  tepet  obrutus 
stratae  qui  superest  Oechaliae  cinis. 

1  So  Richter,  with  A  :  patriis  E. 

2  messibus  N.  Heinsius :  moenibus  A  :  Leo  marks  the  line 
corrupt,  and  conjectures  stamus  nee  patria  est :  messibus  h.  1. 

3  Leo  et,  with  «.  corrected  by  Scaliger. 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

herds  to  where  the  shore,  lifting  on  high  the  shrine 
of  Cenaean  Jove,1  looks  out  upon  the  Euboic  sea, 
fearsome  with  southern  gales. 

[Exit  HERCULES  on  his  way  to  the  Cenaean  Promontory, 
intending  there  to  sacrifice  to  Jove.] 

CHORUS  OF  CAPTIVE  OECHALIAN   MAIDENS  IN  COMPANY 

WITH    IOLE 

Mate  of  the  gods  is  he  whose  life  and  fortune 
have  gone  side  by  side  ;  but  when  'tis  slowly  dragged 
out  midst  lamentations,  life  has  the  lot  of  death. 
Whoe'er  has  set  beneath  his  feet  the  greedy  fates, 
and  the  last  river's  barque,2  he  will  not  give  his  captive 
arms  to  bonds  nor  fare  in  the  victor's  train  a  noble 
spoil  ;  ne'er  is  he  wretched  for  whom  to  die  is  easy. 
Should  his  boat  be  wrecked  far  out  upon  the  deep, 
where  South  with  North-wind  strives,  and  East  with 
West,  rending  the  sea  asunder,  he  does  not  gather 
up  the  wreckage  of  his  broken  ship,  that  in  mid- 
ocean  he  may  hope  for  land  ;  he  who  can  straightway 
render  up  his  life,  he  only  from  a  wreck  can  suffer 
naught. 

119  But  us,  foul  wasting  claims,  and  tears,  and  hair 
denied  by  the  dust  of  fatherland  ;  us  nor  greedy 
flame  nor  crashing  wall  has  overwhelmed.  The 
happy  dost  thou  pursue,  O  Death,  the  wretched  thou 
fleest.  Here  we  stand,  yet  alas  !  the  spot  shall  no 
more  be  given  to  our  country's  crops,  but  to  forests 
wild,  and  squalid  hovels  shall  our  fallen  shrines 
become.  Here  soon  shall  the  chill  Dolopian  lead 
his  flocks  where  the  buried  ashes,  sole  remnant  of 
Oechalia's  ruins,  still  are  warm.  Here  in  our  very 

1  So  called  because  his  temple  stood  at  Cenaeum,  a  lofty 
promontory  on  the  north-west  point  of  the  island  of  Euboea. 

2  i.e.  he  who  does  not  fear  death. 

195 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

ipso  Thessalicus  pastor  in  oppido 
indocta  referens  carmina  fistula 
cantu  nostra  canet  tempora  flebili ;  130 

et  dum  pauca  deus  saecula  contrahet, 
quaeretur  patriae  quis  fuerit  locus, 
felix  incolui  non  steriles  focos 
nee  ieiuna  soli  iugera  Thessali ; 
ad  Trachina  vocor,  saxa  rigentia 
et  dumeta  iugis  horrida  torridis, 
vix  gratum  pecori  montivago  nemus. 
at  si  quas  melior  sors  famulas  vocat, 
illas  aut  volucer  transferet  Inachus 
aut  Dircaea  colent  moenia,  qua  fluit  140 

Ismenos  tenui  flumine  languidus ; 
hie  mater  tumidi  nupserat  Herculis.  142 

Falsa  est  de  geminis  fabula  noctibus,1  147 

aether  cum  tenuit  sidera  longius 
commisitque  vices  Lucifer  Hespero 
et  Solern  vetuit  Delia  tardior.  150 

quae  cautes  Scythiae,  quis  genuit  lapis?  143 

num  Titana  ferum  te  Rhodope  tulit, 
te  praeruptus  Athos,  te  fera  Caspia,2 
quae  virgata  tibi  praebuit  ubera  ?  146 

nullis  vulneribus  pervia  membra  sunt ;  151 

ferrum  sentit  hebes,  lentior  est  chalybs ; 
in  nudo  gladius  corpore  frangitur 
et  saxum  resilit,  fataque  neglegit 
et  mortem  indomito  corpore  provocat. 
non  ilium  poterant  figere  cuspides, 
non  arcus  Scythica  tensus  harundine, 
non  quae  tela  gerit  Sarmata  frigidus 
aut  qui  soliferae  suppositus  plagae 
vicino  Nabatae  vulnera  dirigit  l6() 

1  The  transposition  of  II.  147-150  after  I.  142  is  Leo's. 

2  So  Avantius,  with  a  :  caseta  A  :  Leo  Caspias,  with  E. 

196 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

city  a  Thessalian  shepherd,  on  rude  pipe  going 
o'er  his  songs,  shall  sing  of  our  story  with  doleful 
notes  ;  and  ere  God  shall  bring  a  few  more  generations 
to  an  end,  men  will  be  asking  where  our  country  lay. 
Once  I  was  blest  ;  not  barren  the  hearth  nor  hungry 
the  acres  of  Thessalian  soil  whereon  I  dwelt;  but  now 
to  Trachin  am  I  called,  to  a  rough  and  stony  land,  to 
brambles  bristling  on  her  parched  hills,  to  woods 
which  e'en  the  wandering  goats  disdain.  But  if 
some  captives  by  a  milder  fate  are  called,  then  either 
swift  Inachus  will  bear  them  o'er,1  or  within  Dir- 
caean 2  walls  shall  they  abide,  where  flows  slow 
Ismenus  with  scanty  stream,  where  the  mother 3  of 
haughty  Hercules  once  was  wed.4 

147  False  is  the  story  5  of  the  double  night,  when 
the  stars  lingered  in  the  sky  o'erlong,  when  Lucifer 
changed  place  with  Hesperus,  and  Delia,6  too  slow, 
kept  back  the  sun.  What  Scythian  crag,  what  rocky 
cliff  begot  thee  ?  As  some  fierce  Titan,  did  Rhodope 
bring  thee  forth,  or  Athos  rough  ?  Did  some  wild 
Caspian  beast,  some  striped  tigress  give  thee  suck  ? 
By  no  wounds  may  his  limbs  be  assailed ;  iron  he 
feels  blunt,  steel  is  too  dull ;  upon  his  naked  body 
swords  are  broken,  and  stones  rebound ;  and  so  he 
scorns  the  fates,  and  with  body  all  invincible  defies 
mortality.  Sharp  spear-points  could  not  pierce  him, 
nor  Scythian  arrows  shot  from  bended  bow,  nor  darts 
which  cold  Sarmatians  wield,  or  the  Parthians  who, 
in  the  land  of  the  rising  sun,  with  surer  aim  than 
ever  Cretan's  was,  direct  their  shafts  against  the 

1  i.e.  either  to  Argos  or  Mycenae. 

2  Theban,    so   called    from   the   neighbouring   fountain   of 
Dirce.  3  Alcmena.  4  i.e.  to  Amphit^on. 

6  See  Index  s.v.  "  Hercules,"  first  part.     The  chorus  meam 
to  say  that  Hercules  is  not  the  son  of  Jove  and  Alcmena. 
8  The  moon. 

197 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Partbus  Cnosiacis  certior  ictibus. 

muros  Oechaliae  corpore  propulit, 

nil  obstare  valet ;  vincere  quod  parat 

iam  victum  est.     quota  pars  vulnere  concidit ! 

pro  fato  patuit  vultus  iniquior 

et  vidisse  sat  est  Herculeas  minas. 

quis  vastus  Briareus,  quis  tumidus  Gyas, 

supra  Tbessalicum  cum  stetit  aggerem 

caeloque  inseruit  vipereas  manus, 

boc  vultu  riguit  ?     conAinoda  cladibus  170 

magnis  magna  patent :  nil  superest  mali — 

iratum  miserae  vidimus  Herculem. 


IOLE 

At  ego  infelix  non  templa  suis 
conlapsa  deis  sparsosve  focos, 
natis  mixtos  arsisse  patres 
hominique  deos,  templa  sepulchris, 
nullum  querimur  commune  malum; 
alio  nostras  fortuna  vocat 
lacrimas,  alias  flere  ruinas 

me  fata  iubent.     quae  prima  querar?  180 

quae  summa  gemam  ?     pariter  cuncta 
deflere  iuvat — l  nee  plura  dedit 
pectora  Tellus,  ut  digna  soiient 
verbera  fatis. 

Me  vel  Sipylum  flebile  saxura 
fingite,  superi,  vel  in  Eridani 
ponite  ripis,  ubi  maesta  sonat 
Phaetontiadum  silva  sororum ; 

1  After  iuvat  D.  Heinsius  recognized  a  lacuna,  which  Gro- 
nowus  thought  should  bt  JiUed  as  follows:  cur  non  oculos 
plures  nobis. 

198 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

neighbouring  Arabians.  With  his  bare  hands  did  he 
o'erthrow  Oechalia's  walls,  and  naught  can  make 
stand  against  him ;  for  whate'er  he  plans  to  over- 
come is  overcome  already.  How  few  the  foes  who 
by  his  wounds  have  fallen  !  His  angry  countenance 
was  death  in  open  view,  and  but  to  have  seen  the 
threats  of  Hercules  is  enough.1  What  huge  Briareus, 
what  Gyas,  puffed  with  pride,  when  upon  Thessalia's 
mountain-heap  2  they  stood  and  clutched  at  heaven 
with  snaky  hands,  had  countenance  inflexible  as  his  ? 
But  mighty  ills  have  mighty  recompense.  No  more 
is  left  to  suffer — we  have  seen,  oh,  woe !  the  angry 
Hercules. 

IOLE 

But  I,  unhappy  one,  bewail  not  temples  fallen  on 
their  gods,  or  hearth-fires  scattered,  or  fathers  burned 
in  mingled  heaps  with  sons,  and  gods  with  men, 
temples  with  tombs, — nay,  no  common  misfortune 
do  I  mourn ;  elsewhither  doth  fortune  call  my  tears, 
for  other  ruins  the  fates  bid  me  weep.  What  lament 
shall  I  make  first  ?  \Vhat  last  shall  I  bewail  ?  Equally 
all  things  is  it  meet  to  mourn.  Oh  me,  that  Mother 
Earth  hath  not  given  me  more  eyes  for  tears,3  more 
breasts,  that  blows  worthy  of  my  losses  might 
resound. 

185  Me  to  a  weeping  rock4  on  Sipylus,  ye  heavenly 
gods,  transform,  or  set  me  on  the  banks  of  Po,  where 
the  woods  give  back  the  grief  of  Phaethon's  sad 

1  i.e.  was  enough  to  kill  his  opponent. 

2  The  giants  piled  up  Ossa,  Pelion,  and  Olympus  in  their 
effort  to  reach  the  skies. 

3  Translating  the  suggested  insertion  of  Gronovius. 

4  She  is  thinking  of  the  fate  of  Niobe. 

199 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

me  vel  Siculis  addite  saxis, 

ubi  fata  gemam  Thessala  Siren,  190 

vel  in  Edonas  tollite  silvas 

qualis  natum  Daulias  ales 

solet  Ismaria  flere  sub  umbra ; 

formam  lacrimis  aptate  meis 

resonetque  mails  aspera  Trachin. 

Cyprias  lacrimas  Myrrha  tuetur, 

raptum  coniunx  Ceyca  gemit, 

sibi  Tantalis  est  facta  superstes; 

fugit  vultus  Philomela  suos 

natumque  sonat  flebilis  Atthis  :  200 

cur  mea  nondum  capiunt  volucres 

bracchia  plumas  ?     felix,  felix, 

cum  silva  domus  nostra  feretur 

patrioque  sedens  ales  in  agro 

referam  querulo  murmure  casus 

volucremque  lolen  fama  loquetur 

Vidi,  vidi  miseranda  mei 
fata  parentis,  cum  letifero 
stipite  pulsus  tota  iacuit 

sparsus  in  aula.  210 

a  si  tumulum  fata  dedissent, 
quotiens,  genitor,  quaerendus  eras! 
potuine  tuam  spectare  necem, 
nondum  teneras  vestite  genas 
necdum  forti  sanguine,  Toxeu  ? 
quid  vestra  queror  fata,  parentes, 
quos  in  tutum  mors  aequa  tulit  ? 
mea  me  lacrimas  fortuna  rogat. 
iam  iam  dominae  captiva  colus 
fusosque  legam.     pro  saeve  decor 

1  i.e.  make  me  one  of  the  number  of  the  Sirens  who  haunt 
those  roc-ks. 

2  i.e.  Thracian.  8  Procr^      See  Index  s.v. 

200 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

sisters ;  or  add l  me  to  the  rocks  of  Sicily,  where  as 
a  Siren  I  may  weep  Thessalia's  fate ;  or  bear  me  to 
Edonia's2  woods  where  I  may  mourn  as,  beneath 
Ismarian  shade,  the  Daulian  bird3  ever  mourns  her 
son.  Give  me  a  form  to  fit  my  tears,  and  let  rough 
Trachin  reecho  with  my  woes.  Myrrha,  the  Cyprian 
maid,  yet  guards  her  tears;4  the  wife5  of  Ceyx 
mourns  his  taking  off;  and  Niobe  lives  on,  surviving 
e'en  herself;  her  human  form  has  Philomel  escaped, 
and  still  the  Attic  maid  bewails  her  son.6  Why  not 
yet  do  my  arms  become  swift  wings?  Happy,  ah, 
happy  shall  I  be  when  the  woods  shall  be  called  my 
home,  and,  in  my  native  meadows  resting,  with 
plaintive  strains  I  shall  recall  my  fate,  and  fame  shall 
tell  of  winged  lole. 

207  I  saw,  I  saw  my  father's  wretched  fate,  when, 
beaten  down  by  the  death-dealing  club,  he  lay  in 
scattered  fragments  throughout  the  hall.  Ah  me,  if 
fate  had  given  him  burial,  how  often,  father,  must 
thou  have  been  sought !  How  could  I  have  looked 
upon  thy  death,  O  Toxeus,7  with  thy  boyish  cheeks 
as  yet  unbearded,  and  thy  veins  not  yet  filled  with 
manly  vigour  ?  But  why  do  I  lament  your  fates,  my 
parents,  whom  kindly  death  has  to  a  place  of  safety 
borne  ?  Tis  my  own  fortune  that  requires  my  tears. 
Soon,  soon  in  captive  state  shall  I  whirl  the  distaff 
and  the  spindle  of  my  mistress.  O  cruel  beauty, 

4  The  exuding  gum  of  the  myrrh  tree  into  which  the  maid 
was  changed. 

6  Alcyone,  still  alive  in  feathered  form. 

6  Itys  was  not  the  son  of   Philomela,  but  of  her  sister, 
Procne.  7  Her  brother. 

201 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

formaque  mortem  paritura  mihi,  220 

tibi  cuncta  domus  concidit  uni, 
dum  me  genitor  negat  Alcidae 
atque  Herculeus  socer  esse  timet. 
sed  iam  dominae  tecta  petantur. 

CHORUS 

Quid  regna  tui  clara  parentis 
casusque  tuos  respicis  amens  ? 
fugiat  vultus  fortuna  prior, 
felix  quisquis  novit  famulum 
regemque  pati  vultusque  suos 
variare  potest.     rapuit  vires  230 

pondusque  malis  casus  animo 
qui  tulit  aequo. 

NVTRIX 

O  quam  cruentus  feminas  stimulat  furor, 
cum  patuit  una  paelici  et  nuptae  domus  ! 
Scylla  et  Charybdis  Sicula  contorquens  freta 
minus  timendae,  nulla  non  melior  fera  est. 
namque  ut  reluxit  paelicis  captae  decus 
et  fulsit  lole  qualis  innubis  dies 
purisve  clarum  noctibus  sidus  micat, 
stetit  furenti  similis  ac  torvum  intuens  240 

Herculea  coniunx  ;  feta  ut  Armenia  iacens 
sub  rupe  tigris  hoste  conspecto  exilit 
aut  iussa  thyrsum  quatere  conceptum  ferens 
Maenas  Lyaeum,  dubia  quo  gressus  ferat 
haesit  parumper  ;  turn  per  Herculeos  lares 
attonita  fertur,  tota  vix  satis  est  domus. 
incurrit,  errat,  sistit,  in  voltus  dolor 
processit  omnis,  pectori  paene  intimo 

1  Lyaeus. 
202 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

and  form  doomed  to  bring  death  to  me,  for  thee 
alone  is  all  my  house  undone,  for  that  my  sire  refused 
me  to  Alcides  and  feared  to  have  Hercules  for  son- 
in-law.  But  now  must  I  betake  me  to  a  mistress' 
home. 

CHORUS 

Why  dost  thou,  foolish  one,  ever  look  back  upon 
thy  sire's  illustrious  kingdom  and  thine  own  misfor- 
tunes ?  Banish  from  thy  face  thy  former  fortune. 
Happy  is  he  whoever  knows  how  to  bear  the  estate 
of  slave  or  king  and  can  match  his  countenance  with 
either  lot.  For  he  who  bears  his  ills  with  even  soul 
has  robbed  misfortune  of  its  strength  and  heaviness. 

[The  scene  changes  to   the  space  before  the  palace  of 
Hercules  and  De'ianira  at   Trachin.     Enter  NURSE 

OF  DEIANIRA.] 

NURSE 

O  how  bloody  is  the  rage  that  goads  women  on, 
when  to  mistress  and  to  wife  one  house  has  opened  ! 
Scylla  and  Charybdis,  whirling  Sicilia's  waves,  are 
not  more  fearful,  nor  is  any  wild  beast  worse.  For 
when  her  captive  rival's  beauty  was  revealed,  and 
lole  shone  like  the  unclouded  day  or  a  bright  star  in 
the  clear  night  glittering,  even  as  one  distraught  the 
wife  of  Hercules  stood  there  with  lowering  gaze  (as 
a  tigress,  lying  big  with  young  'neath  some  Armenian 
rock,  at  sight  of  an  enemy  leaps  forth ;  or  as  a 
maenad,  bidden  to  toss  the  thyrsus,  what  time  she 
bears  the  god1  within  her  breast,  in  doubt  where  she 
shall  take  her  way,  stands  still  a  while)  ;  then  through 
the  house  of  Hercules  she  madly  dashed  and  scarce 
did  all  the  house  give  space  enough.  Forward  she 
rushes,  wanders  aimlessly,  stands  still.  All  her  pas- 
sion has  come  forth  into  her  face ;  in  her  heart's 

203 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF  SENECA 

nihil  est  relictum  ;  fletus  insequitur  minas. 

nee  unus  habitus  durat  aut  uno  furit  250 

contenta  voltu  ;  nunc  inardescunt  genae, 

pallor  ruborem  pellit  et  formas  dolor 

errat  per  omnes  ;  queritur,  implorat,  gemit. 

Sonuere  postes — ecce  praecipiti  gradu 
secreta  mentis  ore  confuso  exerit 


DEIANIRA 

Quamcumque  partem  sedis  aetheriae  premis, 
coniunx  Tonantis,  mitte  in  Alciden  feram 
quae  mihi  satis  sit.     si  qua  fecundum  caput 
palude  tota  vastior  serpens  movet, 
ignara  vinci,  si  quid  excessit  feras  260 

immane  dirum  horribile,  quo  viso  Hercules 
avertat  oculos,  hoc  specu  immenso  exeat, 
vel  si  ferae  negantur,  hanc  animam  precor 
converte  in  aliquod — quodlibet  possum  malum 
hac  mente  fieri,     commcda  effigiem  mihi 
parem  dolori ;  non  capit  pectus  minas. 
quid  excutis  telluris  extremae  sinus 
orbemque  versas  ?     quid  rogas  Ditem  mala  ? 
omnes  in  isto  pectore  invenies  feras 
quas  timeat ;  odiis  accipe  hoc  telum  tuis.  270 

ego  sim  noverca.     perdere  Alciden  potes  ; 
perfer  manus  quocumque.     quid  cessas,  dea  ? 
utere  furente — quod  iubes  fieri  nefas? 

1  i.e.  the  Hydra. 
204 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

depths  almost  naught  is  left ;  tears  follow  hard  on 
threats.  Nor  does  one  posture  last,  nor  can  one 
countenance  contain  her  rage  ;  now  do  her  cheeks 
flame  with  wrath,  now  pallor  drives  the  flush  away, 
and  from  form  to  form  her  smarting  anguish  wanders  ; 
she  wails,  she  begs,  she  groans. 

254  The  doors  have  sounded — behold,  at  headlong 
pace  she  comes,  with  confused  words  revealing  all 
the  secrets  of  her  soul. 

\Enter  DEIANIRA  from  within  Ike  palace.] 


DE'IANIRA 

Wife  of  the  Thunderer,  whatever  portion  of  thy 
heavenly  home  thou  treadest,  send  'gainst  Alcides  a 
wild  beast  which  shall  suffice  for  me.  If  any  ser- 
pent,1 vaster  than  all  the  marsh,  rears  up  its  head,  to 
conquest  all  unknown ;  if  anything  is  worse  than 
other  beasts,  monstrous,  dire,  horrible,  from  sight  of 
which  Hercules  would  turn  away  his  eyes,  let  this 
from  its  huge  den  come  forth.  Or,  if  beasts  be 
denied,  change,  I  pray  thee,  this  heart  of  mine  into 
some — any  evil  thing  there  is  can  I  with  this  present 
mind  become.  Give  me  a  form  to  match  my  smart- 
ing grief;  my  breast  cannot  contain  its  rage.  Why 
dost  thou  search  out  the  folds  of  farthest  earth,  and 
overturn  the  world  ?  Why  dost  ask  ills  of  Dis  ?  In 
such  a  breast  thou'lt  find  all  beasts  to  cause  him 
dread ;  take  thou  this  weapon  for  thy  hate — let  me 
be  step-dame.2  Thou  canst  destroy  Alcides  ;  use  but 
these  hands  for  any  end  thou  wilt.  Why  dost  thou 
hesitate,  O  goddess  ?  Use  me,  the  mad  one — what 

a  She  thinks  of  the  possible  children  of  Hercules  by  lole 
and  her  chance  for  vengeance  on  them, 

205 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

reperi.     quid  haeres  ?     ipsa  iam  cesses  licet, 
haec  ira  satis  est. 


NVTRIX 


Pectoris  sani  pavum, 

alumna,  qnestus  comprime  et  flanmias  doma ; 
frena  dolorem.     coniugem  ostende  Herculis. 


DEIANIRA 

lole  meis  captiva  germanos  dabit 
natis  lovisque  fiet  ex  fainula  nurus  ? 
non  flamma  cursus  pariter  et  torrens  feret  280 

et  ursa  pontum  sicca  caeruleum  bibet — 
non  ibo  inulta.     gesseris  caelum  licet 
totusque  pacem  debeat  mundus  tibi, 
est  aliquid  hydra  ])eius  :  iratae  dolor 
nuptae.     quis  ignis  tantus  in  caelum  furit 
ardentis  Aetnae  ?     quidquid  est  victum  tibi 
hie  vincet  animus,     capta  praeripiet  toros  ? 
adhuc  timebam  monstra,  iam  nullum  est  malum  ; 
cessere  pestes,  in  locum  venit  ferae 
invisa  paelex.     summe  pro  rector  deum  290 

et  clare  Titan,  Herculis  tantum  fui 
coniunx  timentis  ;  vota  quae  superis  tuli 
cessere  captae,  paelici  felix  fui, 
illi  meas  audistis,  o  superi,  preces, 
incolumis  illi  remeat. — o  nulla  dolor 
contente  poena,  quaere  supplicia  horrida, 
incogitata,  infanda,  lunonem  doce 
quid  odia  valeant  ;  nescit  irasci  satis. 
pro  me  gerebas  bella,  propter  me  vagas 
Achelous  undas  sanguine  infecit  suo,  300 

1  See  Index  «. v.  "Bears." 
206 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

crime  dost  bid  me  do  ?  Decide.  Why  dost  thou 
falter?  Though  now  thou  dost  thyself  shrink  back, 
this  rage  of  mine  suffices. 


NURSE 

Dear  child,  thy  mad  heart's  plaints  restrain,  quench 
passion's  fire  and  curb  thy  grief.  Show  thyself  wife 
of  Hercules. 

DEIANIRA 

Shall  captive  lole  give  brothers  to  my  sons  ?  Shall 
a  slave  become  daughter-in-law  of  Jove  ?  Together 
will  flame  and  torrent  never  run,  and  the  thirsty 
Bear  l  from  the  blue  sea  ne'er  will  drink — nor  will  I 
go  unavenged.  Though  thou  didst  bear  the  heavens 
up,  though  the  whole  world  owes  its  peace  to  thee,  a 
worse  pest  than  Hydra  waits  thee — the  wrath  of  an 
angered  wife.  What  fire  as  hot  as  this  rages  to  heaven 
from  burning  Aetna  ?  Whate'er  has  been  conquered 
by  thy  might,  this  passion  of  mine  shall  conquer.- 
And  shall  a  slave  seize  on  my  marriage  bed  ?  Till 
now  did  I  fear  monsters,  but  now  is  no  evil  more  ; 
the  pests  have  vanished  and  in  the  place  of  beasts 
has  come  the  hated  harlot.  O  most  high  ruler  of  the 
gods,  O  lustrous  Sun,  I  have  been  wife  to  Hercules 
but  in  his  perils  ;  the  prayers  which  to  the  heavenly 
ones  I  raised  have  been  granted  to  a  slave ;  for  a 
harlot  have  I  been  fortunate ;  for  her  have  ye  heard 
my  prayers,  O  gods,  for  her  is  he  safe  returned. — O 
grief  that  can  be  satisfied  with  no  revenge,  seek  thee 
some  dreadful  punishment,  unthought,  unspeakable  ; 
teach  Juno's  self  what  hate  can  do ;  she  knows  not 
to  rage  enough.  For  me  didst  thou  do  battle ; 
on  my  account  did  Acheloiis  dye  his  wandering 
waves  with  his  own  blond,  when  now  he  became  a 

207 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

cum  lenta  serpens  fieret,  in  taurum  trucem 
nunc  flecteret  serpente  deposita  minas, 
et  mille  in  hoste  vinceres  uno  feras. 
iam  displicemus,  capta  praelata  est  mihi — 
non  praeferetur  ;  qui  dies  thalami  ultimus 
nostri  est  futurus,  hie  erit  vitae  tuae. 

Quid  hoc  ?     recedit  animus  et  ponit  minas. 
iam  cessat  ira  ;  quid  miser  langues  dolor  ? 
perdis  furorem,  coniugis  tacitae  fidem 
mihi  reddis  iterum. — quid  vetas  flammas  ali  ?          310 
quid  frangis  ignes  ?     hunc  mihi  serva  impetum, 
pares  eamus  l — non  erit  votis  opus  ; 
aderit  noverca  quae  manus  nostras  regat 
nee  iuvocata. 

NVTRIX 

Quod  paras  demens  scelus  ? 
perimes  maritum  cuius  extremus  dies 
primusque  laudes  novit  et  caelo  tenus 
erecta  terras  fama  suppositas  habet  ? 
Graiorum  in  istos  terra  consurget  lares 
domusque  soceri  prima  et  Aetolum  genus 
sternetur  omne  ;  saxa  iam  dudum  ac  faces  320 

in  te  ferentur,  vindicem  tellus  suum 
defendet  omnis.     una  quot  poenas  dabis  ! 
effugere  terras  crede  et  humanum  genus 
te  posse — fulmen  genitor  Alcidae  gerit. 
iam  iam  minaces  ire  per  caelum  faces 
specta  et  tonantem  fulmine  excusso  diem, 
mortem  quoque  ipsam,  quam  putas  tutam,  time ; 

1  So  Leo  and  Richter,  following  an  emendation  of  Madvig : 
patres  erimus  E :  pares  eramus  A. 

208 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

stubborn  serpent,  now  to  a  fierce  bull  changed  his 
threats,  the  serpent  form  discarded,  and  thou  in  that 
one  foe  didst  conquer  a  thousand  beasts.  But  now  I 
please  thee  not ;  a  captive  is  preferred  to  me — but 
she  shall  not  be  preferred ;  for  that  day  which  shall 
end  our  marriage  joys  shall  end  thy  life. 

307  But  what  is  this  ?  My  passion  dies  away  and 
abates  its  threats.  Now  anger  ceases  ;  why  dost 
thou  languish,  O  wretched  grief?  Thou  givest  o'er 
thy  madness,  makest  me  again  the  faithful,  uncom- 
plaining wife. — Why  dost  forbid  the  feeding  of  the 
flames  ?  Why  checkest  the  fire  ?  Keep  but  this 
passion  in  me  ;  hand  in  hand  let  us  go  on — there 
will  be  no  need  of  prayers  ;  a  step-dame *  will  be 
near  to  direct  my  hands  and  unbcsought. 

NURSE 

What  crime,  distraught  one,  dost  thou  purpose  ? 
Wilt  slay  thy  husband  whose  praises  the  evening  and 
the  morning2  know  full  well,  whose  fame,  towering 
to  the  sky,  holds  all  the  world  beneath  ?  The  land 
of  Greece  will  rise  to  defend  that  home,  and  this  thy 
father's  3  house  and  the  whole  Aetolian  race  will  be 
the  first  to  be  o'erthrown ;  soon  rocks  and  firebrands 
will  be  hurled  against  thee,  since  every  land  will 
rally  to  its  defender.  How  many  penalties  wilt  thou, 
one  woman,  pay !  Suppose  thou  canst  escape  the 
world  and  the  race  of  men — the  father  of  Alcides 
wields  the  thunder-bolt.  Now,  even  now  behold  his 
threat'ning  fires  flashing  athwart  the  sky,  and  the 
heavens  thundering  with  the  lightning  shock.  Even 
death  itself,  which  thou  deemest  a  place  of  safety, 

1  Juno.  a  i.e.  East  and  West. 

3  Deianira's  father,  the  father-in-law  (socer)  of  Hercules. 

209 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

dominatur  illic  patruus  Alcidae  tui. 
quocumque  perges,  niisera,  cognates  deos 
illic  videbis. 

DEIANIRA 

Maximum  fieri  scelus  330 

et  ipsa  fateor,  sed  dolor  fieri  iubet. 

NVTRIX 

Moriere. 

DEIANIRA 

Moriar  Herculis  nempe  incluti 
coniunx  nee  ullus  nocte  discussa  dies 
viduam  notabit  nee  meos  paelex  toros 
captiva  capiet.     ante  ab  occasu  dies 
nascetur,  Indos  ante  glacialis  polus 
Seythasve  tepida  Phoebus  inficiet  rota, 
quam  me  relictam  Thessalae  aspiciant  nurtis. 
meo  iugales  sanguine  extinguam  faces, 
aut  pereat  aut  me  perimat ;  elisis  feris  340 

et  coniugeni  addat,  inter  Herculeos  licet 
me  quoque  labores  numeret ;  Alcidae  toros 
moritura  certe  corpora  amplectar  meo. 
ire,  ire  ad  umbras  Herculis  nuptam  libet, 
sed  non  inultam.     si  quid  ex  nostro  Hercule 
concepit  lole,  manibus  evellam  meis 
ante  et  per  ipsas  paelicem  invadam  faces, 
me  nuptiali  victimam  feriat  die 
infestus,  lolen  dum  supra  exanimem  ruam — 
felix  iacet  quicumque  quos  odit  premit.  350 

NVTRIX 

Quid  ipsa  flammas  pascis  et  vastum  foves 
ultro  dolorem  ?     misera,  quid  cassum  times  ? 

1  Pluto,  the  brother  of  Jove.  2  i.e.  lole's. 

210 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

fear  ;  for  there  the  uncle  l  of  thine  Alcides  reigns. 
Turn  where  thou  wilt,  poor  woman,  there  wilt  thou 
see  his  kindred  gods. 

DEIANIRA 

That  I  am  doing  a  fearful  crime,  e'en  I  myself  con- 
fess ;  but  passion  bids  me  do  it. 

NURSE 
Thou'lt  die. 

DEIANIRA 

Yea,  truly,  will  I  die,  but  the  wife  of  glorious 
Hercules  ;  neither  shall  any  dawn,  banishing  night, 
brand  me  as  widow  ;  nor  shall  captive  creature  make 
capture  of  my  bed.  Sooner  shall  day  be  born  in  the 
western  sky,  sooner  shall  Indians  grow  pale  'neath 
the  icy  pole,  or  Scythians  tan  'neath  Phoebus' 
burning  car,  than  shall  the  dames  of  Thessaly  see  me 
abandoned.  With  my  own  blood  will  I  quench  her  2 
marriage  torches.  Either  let  him  die  or  do  me  to 

o 

death.  To  slaughtered  beasts  let  him  add  wife  as 
well,  and  let  him  count  me,  too,  'mongst  the  toils  of 
Hercules  ;  to  Alcides'  couch,  aye  with  my  dying  body, 
will  I  cling.  Ah,  sweet,  'tis  sweet  to  go  to  the 
shades  as  bride  of  Hercules, — but  not  without  my 
vengeance.  If  lole  from  my  Hercules  has  conceived 
a  child,  with  mine  own  hands  will  I  tear  it  forth 
untimely,  and  by  her  very  wedding  torches'  glare 
will  I  face  the  harlot.  Let  him  in  wrath  slay  me 
as  victim  on  his  nuptial  day,  so  I  but  fall  on  the 
corpse  of  lole.  Happy  he  lies  who  crushes  those  he 
hates. 

NURSE 

Why  dost  thyself  feed  thy  flames  and  wantonly 
foster  an  unmeasured  grief?  Poor  soul,  why  dost 
thou  cherish  a  needless  fear  ?  He  did  love  lole  ; 

211 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

dilexit  lolen ;  nempe  cum  staret  parens 
regisque  natam  peteret.     in  famulae  locum 
regina  cecidit ;  perdidit  vires  amor 
multumque  ab  ilia  traxit  infelix  status, 
illicita  amantur,  excidit  quidquid  licet. 

DEIANIRA 

Fortuna  amorem  peior  inflammat  magis ; 
amat  vel  ipsum  quod  caret  patrio  lare, 
quod  nudus  auro  crinis  et  gemma  iacet,  360 

ipsas  misericors  forsan  aerumnas  amat ; 
hoc  usitatum  est  Herculi,  captas  amat. 

NVTRIX 

Dilecta  Priami  nempe  Dardanii  soror 
concessa  famula  est ;  adice  quot  nuptas  prius, 
quot  virgines  dilexit.     erravit  vagus. 
Arcadia  nempe  virgo,  Palladios  choros 
dum  nectit,  Auge,  vim  stupri  passa  excidit, 
nullamque  amoris  Hercules  retinet  notam. 
referam  quid  alias  ?     nempe  Thespiades  vacant 
brevique  in  illas  arsit  Alcides  face.  370 

hospes  Timoli  Lydiam  fovit  nurum 
et  amore  captus  ad  leves  sedit  col  us, 
udum  feroci  stamen  intorquens  manu. 
nempe  ilia  cervix  spolia  deposuit  ferae 
crinemque  mitra  pressit  et  famulus  stetit, 
hirtam  Sabaea  marcidus  mvrrha  comam. 

J 

ubique  caluit,  sed  levi  caluit  face. 

1  Hesione. 
212 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

but  'twas  while  yet  her  father  reigned  secure,  and 
'twas  a  king's  daughter  that  he  sought.  The 
princess  has  now  fallen  to  the  place  of  slave  ;  love 
has  lost  its  power,  and  much  from  her  charm  her 
unhappy  lot  has  stolen.  What  is  forbidden  we  love  ; 
if  granted  it  falls  from  our  desire. 

DEIAN1RA 

Nay,  but  fallen  fortunes  fan  hotter  the  flames  of 
love ;  for  this  very  cause  he  loves  her,  that  she  hath 
lost  her  father's  house,  that  her  hair  lies  stripped  of 
gold  and  gems ;  out  of  pity,  perchance,  he  loves  her 
very  woes;  'tis  the  wont  of  Hercules  to  love  captive 
maids. 

NURSE 

Tis  true  he  loved  the  captive  sister1  of  Dardanian 
Priam,  but  he  gave  her  to  another;2  add  all  the 
dames,  all  the  maids  he  loved  before.  A  wanderer 
on  earth,  a  wanderer  in  love  was  he.  Why,  the 
Arcadian  maiden,  Auge,  while  leading  Pallas'  sacred 
dance,  suffered  his  lust's  violence,  but  fell  from  his 
regard,  and  Hercules  retains  no  trace  of  his  love  for 
her.  Why  mention  others  ?  The  Thespiades  are 
forgotten ;  for  them  with  but  a  passing  flame  Alcides 
burned.  When  a  guest  on  Timolus,  he  caressed  the 
Lydian  woman  3  and,  daft  with  love,  sat  beside  her 
swift  distaff,  twisting  the  moistened  thread  with 
doughty  fingers.  His  shoulders,  indeed,  had  laid 
aside  the  famous  lion's-skin,  a  turban  confined  his 
hair,  and  there  he  stood  like  any  slave,  his  shaggy 
locks  dripping  with  Sabaean  myrrh.  Everywhere  has 
he  burned  with  love,  but  burned  with  feeble  flame. 

a  i.e.  to  Telamon,  who  assisted  him  in  the  capture  of  Troy. 
8  Omphale,  queen  of  Lydia. 

2J3 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

DEIANIRA 

Haerere  amantes  post  vagos  ignes  solent. 

NVTRIX 
Famulamne  et  hostis  praeferet  natam  tibi  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Vt  laeta1  silvas  forma  vernantes  habet,  380 

cum  nemora  nuda  primus  investit  tepor, 
at  cum  solutos  expulit  Boreas  Notos 
et  saeva  totas  bruma  discussit  comas, 
deforme  solis  aspicis  truncis  nemus ; 
sic  nostra  longurn  forma  percurrens  iter 
deperdit  aliquid  semper  et  fulget  minus, 
nee  ilia  vetus  2  est.     quidquid  in  nobis  fuit 
olim  petitum  cecidit,  aut  pariter  labat.3 
aetas  citato  senior  eripuit  gradu,4  390 

materque  multum  rapuit  ex  illo  mihi,  389 

vides  ut  altum  famula  non  perdat  decus  ?  391 

cessere  cultus  penitus  et  paedor  sedet ; 
tamen  per  ipsas  fulget  aerumnas  decor 
nihilque  ab  ilia  casus  et  fatum  grave 
nisi  regna  traxit.     hie  meum  pectus  timor, 
altrix,  lacessit,  hie  rapit  somnos  pavor. 
praeclara  totis  gentibus  coniunx  eram 
thalamosque  nostros  invido  voto  nurus 
optabat  omnis  ;  quaeve  mens  quicquam  deos 
orabat  ullos,  nuribus  Argolicis  fui  400 

mensura  voti.     quern  lovi  socerum  parem, 
altrix,  habebo  ?     quis  sub  hoc  mundo  mihi 

1  alta  !\r$S.,  corrected  by  Madvig. 

9  So  liichter :  nee  ilia  Venua  E :  haec  ilia  Venus  Kiessling, 
followed  by  Leo. 

214 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

DEIAN1RA 

Oft  after  wandering  fires  lovers  have  clung  to  one. 

NURSE 

A  slave  and  daughter  of  his  foe  shall  he  prefer  to 
thee  ? 

DEI'ANIRA 

As  a  gladsome  beauty  covers  the  budding  groves 
when  the  first  warmth  of  spring  clothes  the  bare 
forest  trees,  but,  when  the  North-wind  has  put  the 
mild  South  to  flight,  and  savage  winter  has  shaken 
off  all  the  leaves,  thou  seest  but  a  shapeless  grove  of 
trunks  alone ;  so  does  my  beauty,  pursuing  a  length- 
ening way,  lose  something  ever,  and  less  brightly 
gleams,  nor  is  it  as  of  yore.  Whate'er  in  me  was 
sought  in  former  days  has  vanished  or  is  failing  along 
with  me.  Old  age  with  hastening  steps  hath  taken 
much,  and  much  of  it  hath  motherhood  stolen  from 
me.  But  seest  thou  how  this  slave  hath  not  lost  her 
glorious  charm  ?  Gone  are  her  adornings  and  squalor 
clings  close  upon  her ;  and  yet  through  her  very  dis- 
tresses beauty  shines  and  naught  have  misfortune  and 
this  hard  stroke  of  fate  stolen  from  her  save  her  realm. 
O  nurse,  this  fear  of  her  racks  my  heart ;  this  dread 
doth  destroy  my  slumbers.  I  was  a  wife  celebrated 
in  every  land,  and  for  marriage  such  as  mine  all 
women  prayed  with  envious  prayer;  or  whatever 
soul  asked  aught  of  any  gods,  for  the  prayers  of 
Grecian  dames  I  was  the  measure.  What  father-in- 
law  like  to  Jove,  O  Nurse,  shall  I  e'er  have  ?  Who 
beneath  these  heavens  will  be  given  me  as  husband  ? 

3  So  Richter :  et  .  .  .  labat  E :  et  partu  labat  A  :  Leo  con- 
jectures labor.  *  Leo  deletes  this  line. 

215 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

dabitur  maritus  ?     ipse  qui  Alcidae  imperat 
facibus  suis  me  iungat  Eurystheus  licet, 
minus  est.     toris  caruisse  regnantis  leve  est : 
alte  ilia  cecidit  quae  viro  caret  Hercule. 

NVTRIX 

Conciliat  animos  coniugum  partus  fere. 

DEIANIRA 
Hie  1  ipse  forsan  dividet  partus  toros. 

NVTRIX 
Famula  ilia  trahitur  interim  donum  tibi. 

DKIANIRA 

Hie  quern  per  urbes  ire  praeclarum  vides  410 

et  fulva  tergo  spolia  gestantem  ferae, 
qui  regna  miseris  donat  et  celsis  rapit, 
vasta  gravatus  horridam  clava  manum, 
cuius  triumphos  ultimi  Seres  canunt 
et  quisquis  alius  orbe  concepto  2  iacet, — 
levis  est  nee  ilium  gloriae  stimulat  decor ; 
errat  per  orbem,  nori  ut  aequetur  lovi 
nee  ut  per  urbes  magrius  Argolicas  eat  : 
quod  amet  requirit,  virginum  thalamos  petit, 
si  qua  est  negata,  rapitur  ;  in  populos  furit,  420 

nuptas  ruinis  quaerit  et  vitium  impotens 
virtus  vocatur.     cecidit  Oechalia  inclita 
unusque  Titan  vidit  atque  unus  dies 
stantem  et  cadentem ;  causa  bellandi  est  amor. 

1  So  Richter  after  emendation  of  N.  Heinsius :  sic  AfSS. 
and  Leo. 

a  Leo  fconcepto,  with  ~2.A  :  consepto  ^ :  Qrotius  conjectures 
consumpto  :  Gronovius  conpecto. 

216 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

Though  Eurystheus'  self,  who  rules  Alcides,  should 
wed  me  with  his  own  torches,  'tis  not  enough.  'Tis 
a  trivial  thing  to  have  lost  a  royal  couch  ;  but  from  a 
far  height  has  she  fallen  who  loses  Hercules. 

NURSE 

Children  ofttimes  win  back  the  love  of  husbands. 

DEIANIRA 

These  children  themselves  perchance  will  dissolve 
the  bond.1 

NURSE 

Meanwhile  that  slave  is  brought  as  gift  to  thee. 

DEIANIRA 

He  whom  thou  seest  going,  big  with  fame,  from 
town  to  town,  wearing  the  spoil  of  a  tawny  lion  on 
his  back  ;  who  gives  kingdoms  to  the  lowly  and 
takes  them  from  the  proud,  his  dread  hand  laden 
with  a  massive  club;  whose  triumphs  the  far  off 
Seres  sing,  and  whoe'er  besides  dwells  in  the  whole 
known  world, — he  is  a  trifler,  nor  does  the  charm  of 
glory  urge  him  on.  He  goes  wandering  o'er  the 
earth,  not  in  the  hope  that  he  may  rival  Jove,  nor 
that  he  may  fare  illustrious  through  Grecian  cities. 
Some  one  to  love  he  seeks ;  his  quest  is  maidens' 
chambers.  If  any  is  refused  him,  she  is  ravished  ; 
against  nations  doth  he  rage,  midst  ruins  seeks  his 
brides,  and  unrestrained  excess  is  called  heroic. 
Oechalia,  the  illustrious,  fell;  one  sun,  one  day 
beheld  her  stand  and  fall ;  and  passion  was  the 

1  i.e.  if  one  woman's  child  holds  her  husband  to  her, 
another's  child  (lole's)  will  turn  him  from  the  old  to  his  new 
love. 

217 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

totiens  timebit  Herculi  natam  parens 

quotiens  negabit,  hostis  est  quotiens  socer 

fieri  recusat ;  si  gener  non  fit,  ferit. 

post  haec  quid  istas  innocens  servo  manus, 

donee  furentem  simulet  ac  saeva  manu 

intendat  arcus  meque  natumque  opprimat  ?  430 

sic  coniuges  expellit  Alcides  suas, 

haec  sunt  repudia.     nee  potest  fieri  nocens ; 

terris  videri  sceleribus  causam  suis 

fecit  novercam.     quid  stupes,  segnis  furor  ? 

scelus  occupandum  est;  perage  dum  fervet  manus. 

NVTRIX 

Perimes  maritum  ? 

DE'fANIRA 

Paelicis  certe  meae 

NVTRIX 

At  love  creatum. 

DEIANIRA 

Nempe  et  Alcmena  satum. 

NVTRIX 
Ferrone  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Ferro. 

NVTRIX 

Si  nequis  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Perimam  dolo. 


218 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

mother  of  that  strife.  As  oft  as  a  father  shall  deny 
his  child  to  Hercules,  as  oft  as  a  foeman  refuses  to  be 
his  father-in-law,  so  oft  shall  he  have  cause  to  fear; 
if  he  is  not  accepted  as  a  son  in-law,  he  smites.  After 
all  this,  why  do  I  harmlessly  keep  back  these  hands  un- 
til he  feign  another  fit  of  madness,1  with  deadly  hand 
bend  his  bow,  and  slay  me  and  my  son  ?2  Thus  does 
Alcides  put  away  his  wives ;  such  is  his  manner  of 
divorce.  Yet  naught  can  make  him  guilty  !  He  has 
made  the  world  believe  his  step-dame  answerable  for 
his  crimes.  Why  art  inactive  then,  thou  sluggish  rage? 
His  crime  must  be  forestalled;  act  while  thy  hand 
is  hot ! 

NURSE 

Wilt  slay  thy  husband  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Truly,  my  rival's  husband. 

NURSE 

But  the  son  of  Jove  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Yes,  but  the  son  of  Alcmena,  too. 

NURSE 
With  the  sword  ? 

DEIANIRA 

The  sword. 

NURSE 

If  thou  canst  not  ? 

DEIANIRA 

I'll  slay  with  guile. 

1  The  reference  is  to  the  death  of  Megara  and  her  sons  at 
the  hands  of  mad  Hercules.  2  Hyllus. 

219 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

NVTRIX 

Quis  iste  furor  est  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Quern  meus  coniunx  docet. 

NVTRIX 
Quern  nee  noverca  potuit,  hunc  perimes  virum?  440 

DEIANIRA 

Caelestis  ira  quos  premit,  miseros  facit ; 

humana  nullos. 

NVTRIX 

Parce,  miseranda,  et  time. 

DEIANIRA 

Contempsit  omnes  ille  qui  mortem  prius ; 
libet  ire  in  enses. 

NVTRIX 

Maior  admisso  tuus, 

alumna,  dolor  est ;  culpa  par  odium  exigat. 
cur  saeva  modicis  statuis  ?     ut  laesa  es  dole. 

DEIANIRA 

Leve  esse  credis  paelicem  nuptae  malum  ? 
quidquid  dolorem  pascit,  hoc  nimium  puta. 

NVTRIX 

Amorne  clari  fugit  Alcidae  tibi  ? 

1  i.e.  whatever  else. 
220 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

NURSE 

What  madness  that  ? 

DEI  AN  IRA 

That  which  my  husband  teaches  me. 

NURSE 

Whom  e'en  his  step-dame  could  not  slay — wilt 
thou  slay  him  ? 

DEI  AN  IRA 

Celestial  wrath  but  makes  wretched  those  on 
whom  it  falls  ;  man's  wrath  makes  them  naught. 

NURSE 
Spare  him,  O  wretched  one,  and  fear. 

DEIANIRA 

He  has  scorned  all  men,  who  first  has  scorn  of 
death  ;  'tis  sweet  to  go  against  the  sword. 

NURSE 

Thy  smart  is  too  great  for  the  offence,  my  child  , 
let  his  fault  claim  but  equal  hate.  Why  dost  so 
fiercely  judge  a  light  offence  ?  According  as  thou 
hast  been  injured,  grieve. 

DEIANIRA 

Thinkst  thou  a  mistress  is  light  evil  for  a  wife  ? 
Whatever  1  fosters  anguish,  count  this  2  beyond  all 
bounds. 

NURSE 
Has  thy  love  for  glorious  Alcides  fled  away  ? 

8  i.e.  the  situation  described  in  the  preceding  line. 

221 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

DEIANIRA 

Non  fugit,  altrix,  remanet  et  penitus  sedet         450 
fixus  medullis,  crede  ;  sed  magnus  dolor 
iratus  amor  est. 

NVTRIX 

Artibus  magicis  fere 

coniugia  nuptae  precibus  admixtis  ligant. 
vernare  iussi  frigore  in  medio  nemus 
missumque  fulmen  stare  ;  concuss!  freturn 
cessante  vento,  turbidum  explicui  mare 
et  sicca  tellus  fontibus  patuit  novis ; 
habuere  motum  saxa,  discussi  fores  l 
umbrasque  Ditis,2  et  mea  iussi  prece 
manes  locuntur,  tacuit  infernus  canis  ;  460 

nox  media  solem  vidit  et  noctem  dies  3  ;  462 

mare  terra  caelum  et  Tartarus  servit  mihi  46 1 

nihilque  leges  ad  meos  cantus  tenet, 
flectemus  ilium,  carmina  invenient  iter. 

DEIANIRA 

Quas  Pontus  herbas  generat  aut  quas  Thessala 
sub  rupe  Pindus  alit4  ubi  inveniam  malum 
cui  cedat  ille  ?     carmine  in  terras  mago 
descendat  astris  Luna  desertis  licet 
et  bruma  messes  videat  et  cantu  fugax 
stet  deprehensum  fulmen  et  versa  vice  470 

medius  coactis  ferveat  stellis  dies : 
non  flectet  ilium. 

1  fores  cu :   regarded  as  corrupt   by  Leo,   who  conjectures 
inferos  :  arbores  Birt. 

2  So  Rid der  :  Leo  umbrae  stetistis,  with  «. 

222 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

DEI'ANIRA 

Not  fled,  dear  Nurse ;  it  still  remains,  believe  me, 
deep-seated  and  fixed  in  my  heart's  core  ;  but  to  be 
angry  with  one's  love  brings  mighty  madness. 

NUHSB 

By  magic  arts  and  prayers  commingled  do  wives 
oft  hold  fast  their  husbands.  I  have  bidden  the 
trees  grow  green  in  the  midst  of  winter's  frost, 
and  the  hurtling  lightning  stand ;  I  have  stirred  up 
the  deep,  though  the  winds  were  still,  and  have 
calmed  the  heaving  sea ;  the  parched  earth  has 
opened  with  fresh  fountains ;  rocks  have  found 
mooion ;  the  gates  have  I  rent  asunder  and  the 
shades  of  Dis,  and  at  my  prayer's  demand  the  spirits 
talk,  the  infernal  dog  is  still ;  midnight  has  seen  the 
sun,  and  day,  the  night ;  the  sea,  land,  heaven  and 
Tartarus  yield  to  my  will,  and  naught  holds  to  law 
against  my  incantations.  Bend  him  we  will ;  my 
charms  will  find  the  way. 

DEIANIRA 

What  herbs  does  Pontus  grow,  or  what  does  Pindus 
nourish  'neath  the  rocks  of  Thessaly,1  wherein  I  may 
find  a  bane  to  conquer  him  ?  Though  Luna  should 
leave  the  stars  and  come  down  to  earth,  obedient  to 
magic ;  though  winter  should  see  ripe  grain  ;  though 
the  swift  bolt  should  stand  still,  arrested  by  thy 
charm  ;  though  times  be  changed,  and  midday  burn 
amid  the  crowding  stars :  'twill  not  bend  him. 

1  Where  Medea,  the  famous  witch,  gathered  magic  herbs. 

*  Lines  461,  46S  transposed  by  Bothe. 

4  Leo,  faluit,  with  E:   corrected  by  Peiper,  followed  by 
Richttr. 

223 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

NVTRIX 

Vicit  et  superos  Amor. 

DEIANIRA 

Vincetur  uni  forsan  et  spolium  dabit 
Amorque  summus  fiet  AJcidae  labor. — 
sed  te  per  omne  caelitum  numen  precor, 
per  hunc  timorem  :  quidquid  arcani  apparo 
penitus  recondas  et  fide  tacita  premas. 

NVTRIX 
Quid  istud  est  quod  esse  secretum  petisf 

DEIANIRA 

Non  tela  sunt,  non  arma,  non  ignis  minax. 

NVTHIX 

Praestare  fateor  posse  me  tacitam  fidem,  480 

si  scelere  careat ;  interim  scelus  est  fides. 

DEIANIRA 

Circumspice  agedum,  ne  quis  arcana  occupet, 
partemque  in  omnem  vultus  inquirens  eat. 

NVTRIX 
En  locus  ab  omni  tutus  arbitrio  vacat. 

DEIANIRA 

Est  in  remoto  regiae  sedis  loco 
arcana  tacitus  nostra  defendens  specus. 
non  ille  primos  accipit  soles  locus, 


224 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

NURSE 

But  love  has  conquered  e'en  heavenly  gods. 

DEIAN1RA 

By  one1  alone,  perchance,  will  he  be  conquered 
and  yield  his  spoils,  and  Love  become  Alcides' 
crowning  toil. — But  thee  by  all  the  deities  of  heaven 
I  pray,  by  this  my  fear  :  whatever  secret  thing  1  am 
preparing,  hide  it  deep,  and  in  faithful  silence  hold 
it  fast. 

NURSE 

What  is  it  that  thou  seekst  to  keep  in  secret  ? 

DEIANIRA 

It  is  not  spears,  not  arms,  not  threatening  fire. 

NURSE 

That  I  can  keep  faithful  silence  I  confess,  if  it  be 
free  from  crime ;  but  silence  itself  sometimes  is 
criminal. 

DEIANIRA 

Come,  look  about,  lest  someone  grasp  my  secret, 
and  in  all  directions  turn  thy  questful  glance. 

NURSE 

Behold  the  place  is  safe  and  free  from  all 
observers. 

DEIANIRA 

In  a  remote  corner  of  the  royal  dwelling  is  a 
recess  that  silently  guards  my  secret.  Neither  the 
first  rays  of  the  sun  can  reach  that  spot,  nor  yet  his 

1  Hercules. 

225 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

non  ille  seros,  cum  ferens  Titan  diem  l 

lassum  rubenti  mergit  Oceano  iugum  2 

illic  amoris  pignus  Herculei  latet.  490 

altrix,  fatebor  :  auctor  est  Nessus  mail 

quern  gravida  Nephele  Thessalo  genuit  duci, 

qua  celsus  3  astris  inserit  Pindus  caput 

ultraque  nubes  Othrys  eductus  riget. 

namque  ut  subactus  Herculis  clava  horridi 

Achelous  omnes  facilis  in  species  dari 

tandem  peractis  omnibus  patuit  feris 

unoque  turpe  subdidit  cornu  caput, 

me  coniugem  dum  victor  Alcides  habet, 

repetebat  Argos. 

Forte  per  campos  vagus  500 

Euenos  altum  gurgitem  in  pontum  ferens 
iam  paene  summis  turbidus  silvis  erat. 
transire  Nessus  verticem  solitus  vadis 
pretium  poposcit.     meque  iam  dorso  ferens 
qua  iungit  hominem  spina  deficiens  equo, 
frangebat  ipsas  fluminis  tumidi  minas. 
iam  totus  undis  Nessus  exierat  ferox 
medioque  adhuc  errabat  Alcides  vado, 
vasto  rapacem  verticem  scindens  gradu, 
at  ille  ut  esse  vidit  Alciden  procul  :  510 

"  tu  praeda  nobis  "   inquit  "  et  coniunx  eris  ; 
prohibetur  undis/'  meque  complexus  ferens 
gressum  citabat. 

Non  tenent  undae  Herculem  : 
"infide  vector"  inquit  "  immixti  licet 
Ganges  et  Hister  vallibus  iunctis  eant, 

1  Leo  thinks  there  is  a  lacuna  after  line  488  and  Jills  it  thus. 
exurgit  undis,  cumque  germanam  vocans. 

2  &o  Richter:  diem  Leo  with  E. 

3  So  A:   ftrepidus  Leo,  with  E,  conjecturing  aethcrius : 
rigidus  0.  Itossbach. 

226 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

last,  when  Titan,  bringing  the  day  to  rest,  plunges 
his  weary  yoke  in  the  ruddy  sea.  There  lurks  the 
surety  of  Alcides'  love.  Nurse,  I'll  confess  to  thee  : 
the  giver  of  the  baleful  thing  was  Nessus,  whom 
Nephele,  heavy  with  child,  to  the  Thessalian  chief- 
tain l  bore,  where  lofty  Hindus  to  the  stars  lifts  up 
his  head  and  Othrys  stands  stiff',  towering  above  the 
clouds.  For  when  Achelous,  forced  by  the  club  of 
dread  Hercules  to  shift  with  ready  ease  from  form  to 
form,  his  beast-shapes  all  exhausted,  at  last  stood 
forth  and  bowed  his  head,  marred  and  with  single 
horn,'2  victorious  Hercules,  with  me,  his  bride,  set  out 
for  Argos. 

500  It  chanced  that  Evenus,  wandering  through  the 
plains,  rolling  his  deep  eddies  to  the  sea,  was  now 
in  flood  almost  to  the  tree- tops'  level.  Nessus,  ac- 
customed to  ford  the  whirling  stream,  offered  to 
take  me  over  for  a  price;  and,  bearing  me  on  his  back, 
where  the  backbone,  leaving  the  equine  enters  the 
human  form,  soon  was  stemming  even  the  threatening 
waves  of  the  swollen  flood.  Now  had  wild  Nessus 
entirely  left  the  waters  and  Alcides  was  still  wander- 
ing in  mid-stream,  cleaving  the  down-sweeping  flood 
with  his  mighty  strides  ;  but  when  the  centaur  saw 
Alcides  still  afar,  "Thou  shalt  be  spoil  of  mine,"  he 
cried,  "  and  wife  ;  he  is  kept  from  thee  by  the  waves  "; 
and,  clasping  me  in  his  arms  as  he  bore  me  on,  was 
galloping  away. 

513  But  the  waves  did  not  hold  Hercules  ;  "  O 
faithless  ferryman,"  he  cried,  "though  Ganges  and 
Hister  commingled  in  united  beds  should  flow,  I 

1  Ixion. 

2  Hercules  had  wrenched  away  one  horn  from  Achelous 
while  the  latter  was  fighting  in  bull-form. 

227 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

vincemus  ambos,  consequar  telo  fugam." 
praecessit  arcus  verba  ;  turn  longum  ferens 
harundo  vulnus  tenuit  haerentem  fugam 
mortemque  fixit.     ille,  iam  quaerens  diem, 
tabum  fluentem1  volneris  dextra  excipit  520 

traditque  nobis  ungulae  insertum  suae, 
quam  forte  saeva  sciderat  avolsam  manu 
tune  verba  moriens  addit ;  "  hoc  "  inquit  "  magae 
dixere  amorem  posse  defigi  malo  ; 
hoc  docta  Mycale  Thessalas  docuit  minis, 
unam  inter  omnes  Luna  quam  sequitur  magas 
astris  relictis.     inlitas  vestes  dabis 
hac  "  inquit  "ipsa  tabe,  si  paelex  tuos 
invisa  thalamos  tulerit  et  coniunx  levis 
aliam  parenti  dederit  altisono  nurum.  530 

hoc  nulla  lux  conspiciat,  hoc  tenebrae  tegant 
tantum  remotae  ;  sic  potens  vires  suas 
sanguis  tenebit."     verba  deprendit  quies 
mortemque  lassis  intulit  membris  sopor. 
Tu,  quam  meis  admittit  arcanis  fides, 
perge  ut  nitentem  virus  in  vestem  datum 
mentem  per  artus  adeat  et  taciturn  means  * 
intret  medullas 

NVTRIX 

Ocius  iussa  exsequar, 

alumna,  precibus  tu  deum  invictum  advoca, 
qui  certa  tenera  tela  dimittit  manu.  540 

1  So  E :  Leo  fluente  :  tabem  fluentis  A. 

2  So  Ricldzr  •  tactus  sinus  A  :  tacitua  mas  E     Leo  tactu 
sinus. 

228 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

shall  o'ercome  them  both  and  with  my  shaft  o'ertake 
thy  flight."  His  bow  was  swifter  than  his  words. 
Then  the  reedy  shaft,  wounding  from  afar,  stayed 
his  hampered  flight  and  implanted  death.  The 
Centaur,  now  groping  for  light,  in  his  right  hand 
caught  the  poison  l  flowing  from  the  wound,  and  this 
he  gave  me,  pouring  it  into  his  hoof,  which  with 
mad  hand  he  had  chanced  to  wrench  away.  Then 
with  his  dying  words  he  spoke  :  "  By  this  charm 
magicians  have  said  love  can  be  firmly  fixed  ;  so  were 

c5  * 

Thessalian  wives  by  the  wise  Mycale  instructed, 
whom  only,  midst  all  wonder-working  crones,  Luna 
will  forsake  the  stars  and  follow.  A  garment, 
smeared  with  this  very  gore,  shalt  thou  give  to  him, 
if  ever  a  hated  mistress  should  usurp  thy  chamber, 
and  thy  fickle  husband  should  give  another  daughter 
to  his  'high-thundering  sire.  This  let  no  light  be- 
hold ;  let  darkness  only,  thick  and  hidden,  cover  it ; 
so  shall  the  potent  blood  retain  its  powers."  Silence 
seized  on  his  words  and  to  his  weary  limbs  came  the 
sleep  of  death. 

535  Now  do  thou,  whom  loyalty  makes  sharer  of 
my  secret,  haste  thee  that  the  poison,  upon  a 
glittering  robe  besmeared,  go  through  his  heart 
and  limbs  and,  stealing  silently,  enter  his  very 
marrow. 

NURSE 

With  speed  will  I  do  thy  bidding,  dearest  child  ; 
and  do  thou  pray  to  the  god  2  invincible,  who  with 
tender  hand  doth  send  unerring  shafts.  [Exit  NURSE. 

1  Communicated  to  the  blood  by  the  Hydra-poisoned  arrow 
of  Hercules. 

2  Cupid. 

229 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

DElANIRA 

Te  deprecor,  quern  inundus  et  superi  timent 
et  aequor  et  qui  fulmen  Aetnaeum  quatit, 
timende  matri  te  aliger  saevae  puer : 
intende  certa  spiculum  velox  manu, 
non  ex  sagittis  levibus.     e  numero  precor 
graviore  prome  quod  tuae  nondum  manus 
misere  in  aliquern  ;  non  levi  telo  est  opus, 
ut  amare  possit  Hercules,      rigidas  manus 
intende  et  arcinn  cornibus  iunctis  para, 
nunc,  nunc   sagittam   prome   qua   quondam   hor- 

ridum  550 

lovem  petisti,  fulmine  abiecto  deus 
cum  fronte  subita  tumuit  et  rabidum  mare 
taurus  puellae  vector  Assyriae  scidit ; 
immitte  amorem,  vincat  exempla  omnia — • 
amare  discat  coniugem.     si  quas  decor 
loles  inussit  pectori  Herculeo  faces, 
extingue  totas,  perbibat  formam  mei. 
tu  fulminantem  saepe  domuisti  lovem, 
tu  furva  nigri  sceptra  gestantem  poll, 
turbae  ducem  maioris  et  dominum  Stygis ;  560 

tuque  o  noverca  gravior  irata  deus, 
cape  hunc  triumph  urn  solus  et  vince  Herculem. 

NVTRIX 

Prolata  vis  est  quaeque  Palladia  colu 
lassavit  omnem  texta  famularum  manum. 
nunc  congeratur  virus  et  vestis  bibat 

1  The  bolts  of  Jove  were  forged  in  Vulcan's  smithy  under 
Aetna.  2  Europa. 

230 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

DEI  A  NIK  A 

Thee  do  I  pray,  by  earth  and  heaven-dwellers  held 
in  fear,  by  sea,  by  him  who  wields  Aetnaean  l  thunder- 
bolts, and  by  thy  ruthless  mother  to  be  feared,  O 
winged  boy  ;  with  unerring  hand  aim  a  swift  shaft, 
and  not  of  thy  lighter  arrows.  Choose  thee,  I  pray, 
one  of  thy  heavier  shafts,  which  thy  hands  have 
ne'er  yet  shot  at  any;  for  no  light  weapon  must  thou 
use  that  Hercules  may  feel  the  power  of  love. 
Stretch  thy  hands  stiffly  forth,  and  bend  thy  bow 
until  the  tips  shall  meet.  Now,  now  that  shaft  let 
loose  with  which  once  thou  aimedst  at  Jove  the 
terrible,  what  time  the  god  threw  down  his  thunder- 
bolt and  as  a  bull,  with  horns  quick-sprouting  on  his 
brow,  clove  through  the  boisterous  sea,  bearing  the 
Assyrian  maid.2  Fill  him  with  love ;  let  him  outstrip 
all  precedents,  — let  him  learn  to  love  his  wife.  If 
lole's  beauty  hath  kindled  fires  in  the  breast  of 
Hercules,  extinguish  them  every  one,  and  of  my 
beauty  let  him  deeply  drink.  Oft  hast  thou  con- 
quered Jove,  the  thunderer,  oft  him  who  wields  the 
dark  sceptre  of  the  dusky  world,  king  of  the  greater 
throng,  and  lord  of  Styx  ;  and  now,  O  god  more 
dreadful  than  a  step-dame's  wrath,  win  thou  this 
triumph  all  alone,  and  conquer  Hercules. 

\Re-enter  NURSE,  with  robe  and  charm.~\ 

NURSE 

The  charm  has  been  brought  out  and  a  robe  from 
Pallas'  s  distaff,  at  whose  weaving  thy  maidens  all 
have  wrought  with  weary  hands.  Now  let  the 
poison  be  prepared  and  let  the  robe  of  Hercules 

3  The  arts  of  spinning  and  weaving  were  of  Pallas'  in- 
vention. 

231 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 
Herculea  pestem  ;  precibus  augebo  malum. 

In  tenipore  ipso  navus  occurrit  Lichas  ; 
celanda  vis  est  (lira,  ne  pateant  doli. 

DEIANIRA 

O  quod  superbae  non  habent  umquam  domus, 
fidele  semper  regibus  nomen  Licha,  570 

cape  hos  amictus,  nostra  quos  nevit  manus, 
dum  vagus  in  orbe  fertur  et  victus  mero 
tenet  feroci  Lydiam  gremio  nurum, 
dum  poscit  lolen.     sed  iecur  fors  horridum 
flectam  merendo  ;  merita  vicerunt  malos. 
non  ante  coniunx  induat  vestes  iube 
quam  ture  flammas  pascat  et  placet  deos, 
cana  rigentem  populo  cinctus  comam. 

Ipsa  in  penates  regios  gressus  feram 
precibusque  Amoris  horridi  matrem  colam.  580 

vos,  quas  paternis  extuli  comites  focis, 
Calydoniae,  lugete  deflendam  vicem. 

CHORVS 
Flemus  casus,  Oenei,  tuos 

comitum  primes  turba  per  annos, 
232 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

soak  up  its  pestilence ;  and  by  my  incantations 
will  I  increase  its  evil. 

[While   they    are   occupying    themselves   with    the    robe, 
LICHAS  is  seen  approaching.] 

667  But  in  the  nick  of  time  the  zealous  Lichas 
comes;  the  dire  potency  of  the  robe  must  be  con- 
cealed lest  our  wiles  be  punished. 

[Enter  LICHAS.] 

DEIANIRA 

O  Lichas,  name  ever  loyal  to  thy  lords,  though 
loyalty  proud  houses  ne'er  possess,  take  thou  this 
garment  which  my  hands  have  woven  while  he  was 
wandering  o'er  the  earth,  or,  spent  with  wine,  was 
holding  in  his  doughty  arms  the  Lydian  queen,  or 
seeking  lole.  And  yet,  perchance,  I  may  turn  his 
rough  heart  to  me  again  by  my  deserving ;  for 
deserts  oft  conquer  those  who  work  us  ill.  Before 
my  husband  puts  this  garment  on,  bid  him  burn  in- 
cense and  appease  the  gods,  his  stiff  locks  wreathed 
the  while  with  hoary  poplar. 

[LICHAS  lakes  the  robe  and  departs  upon  his  mission.] 
679  I  will  myself  pass  within  the  royal  palace  and 
with  prayers  worship  the  mother  of  relentless  Love. 

[To  her  Aetolian  attendants.] 

Do  ye,  whom  I  have  brought  as  comrades  from  my 
father's  house,  ye  Calydonian  maids,  bewail  the  for- 
tune that  demands  your  tears.  [Exit. 

CHORUS  OF  AETOLIAN  WOMEN 

O  child  of  Oeneus,  truly  do  we  weep  for  thy 
misfortunes,  the  band  of  thy  companions  through 
thy  childhood  years,  we  weep  thy  couch  dishonoured, 

233 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

flemus  dubios,  veneranda,  toros. 

nos  Acheloi  tecum  solitae 

pulsare  vadum,  cum  iam  tumidas 

vere  peracto  poneret  undas 

gracilisque  gradu  serperet  aequo, 

nee  praecipitem  volveret  amnem 

flavus  rupto  fonte  Lycormas ; 

nos  Palladias  ire  per  aras 

et  virgin eos  celebrare  chores, 

nos  Cadmeis  orgia  ferre 

tecum  solitae  condita  cistis, 

cum  iam  pulso  sidere  brumae 

tertia  soles  evocat  aestas 

et  spiciferae  concessa  deae 

Attica  mystas  cludit  Eleusin. 

nunc  quoque  casum  quemcumque  times,     600 

fidas  comites  accipe  fatis  ; 

nam  rara  fides  ubi  iam  melior 

fortuna  ruit. 

Tu  quicumque  es  qui  sceptra  tenes, 
licet  omne  tua  vulgus  in  aula 
centum  pariter  limina  pulset ; 
cum  tot  populis  stipatus  eas, 
in  tot  populis  vix  una  fides, 
tenet  auratum  limen  Erinys, 
et  cum  magnae  patuere  fores,  610 

intrant  fraudes  cautique  doli 
ferrumque  latens  ;  cumque  in  populos 
prodire  paras,  comes  invidia  est. 

1  Identified  by  Strabo  with  the   Evenus,   a  neighbouring 
river  of  Aetolia. 

2  The   sacred   objects   used   in    the    orgiastic    worship   of 
Bacchus. 

8  Called  in  the  text  Cadmaean  from  Cadmus,  founder  of 
Thebes. 

234 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

lady  whom  we  revere.  Often  with  thee  have  we 
splashed  in  Acheloiis'  shallows,  when  now,  the 
springtime  passed,  he  allayed  his  swollen  waters 
and,  a  slender  stream,  crept  on  with  quiet  course, 
and  Lycormas  1  no  longer  rolled  his  headlong  waters 
on,  dark-hued  with  bursting  fountains.  Together 
were  we  wont  to  fare  to  Pallas'  shrines  and  join  in 
virgin  dances,  to  bear  the  mysteries2  in  Theban3 
baskets  hidden,  when  now  the  wintry  star  had  fled, 
and  each  third  summer 4  called  forth  the  sun,  and 
when  the  grain-giving  goddess' 5  sacred  seat,  Attic 
Eleusis,  shut  in  her  mystic  worshippers.  Now  too, 
whatever  lot  thou  fearest,  take  us  as  trusted  comrades 
of  thy  fates  ;  for  rare  is  loyalty  when  now  better 
fortune  fails. 

604  O  thou,6  whoe'er  thou  art  who  the  sceptre 
holdest,  though  all  the  people  throng  within  thy  hall, 
pressing  together  through  its  thousand  doors ; 
though  when  thou  walkst  abroad  whole  nations  hem 
thee  round  ;  in  all  those  nations  scarce  one  man  is 
true.  Erinys  keeps  the  gilded  gate,  and  when  the 
great  doors  have  opened  wide,  there  come  in 
treacheries  and  cunning  wiles  and  the  lurking 
dagger ;  and  when  amongst  the  people  thou  wouldst 
walk,  envy  walks  by  thy  side.  As  often  as  dawn 

4  The  festival  of  Bacchus  was  celebrated  every  third  year 
in  honour  of  his  conquest  of  India. 

8  Ceres.  The  reference  is  to  the  Eleusinian  mysteries. 
All  these  festivals  these  women  had  been  wont  to  attend 
together  in  childhood. 

'  Addressed  to  kings  in  general 

235 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

noctem  quotiens  summovet  Eos, 

regem  totiens  credite  nasci. 

pauci  reges,  non  regna  colunt ; 

plures  fulgor  concitat  aulae. 

cupit  hie  regi  proximus  ipsi 

clarus  latas  ire  per  urbes ; 

urit  niiserum  gloria  pectus.  620 

cupit  hie  gazis  implere  famem  ; 

nee  tamen  omnis  plaga  gemmiferi 

sufficit  Histri  nee  tola  sitim 

Lydia  vincit  nee  quae  Zephyro 

subdita  tellus  stupet  aurato 

flumine  clarum  radiare  Tagum  ; 

nee  si  totus  serviat  Hebrus 

ruraque  dives  iungat  Hydaspes 

intraque  suos  currere  fines 

spectet  toto  flumine  Gangen.  630 

avidis,  avidis  natura  parum  est. 

Colit  hie  reges  regumque  lares, 
non  ut  presso  vomere  semper 
numquam  cesset  curvus  arator 
vel  mille  secent  arva  coloni ; 
solas  optat  quas  ponat  opes, 
colit  hie  reges,  calcet  ut  omnes 
perdatque  aliquos  nullumque  levet ; 
tantum  ut  noceat,  cupit  esse  potens. 

Quota  pars  moritur  tempore  fati  1  640 

quos  felices  Cynthia  vidit, 
vidit  miseros  enata  dies, 
rarum  est  felix  idemque  senex. 
caespes  Tyrio  mollior  ostro 
solet  inpavidos  ducere  somnos  ; 

1  i.e.  so  many  dangers  to  the  king's  life  lurk  in  the  night 
that  if  he  survives  these  it  is  as  if  he  were  born  anew  iu  the 
morning. 

236 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

drives  out  the  night,  so  often  believe  a  king  is  born.1 
Few  worship  kings  and  not  their  thrones  ;  for  'tis  the 
glitter  of  the  royal  hall  that  stirs  the  most.  One 
man  is  eager  to  fare  illustrious  through  broad  towns 
next  to  the  king  himself;  for  greed  of  glory  burns 
his  wretched  breast.  Another  longs  with  treasure 
to  appease  his  hunger ;  and  yet  not  all  gem-bearing 
Eiister's  tract  would  satisfy,  nor  would  the  whole  of 
Lydia  sate  his  thirst,  nor  the  land 2  which,  lying 
'neath  the  west-wind,  marvels  to  see  bright  Tagus 
gleam  with  golden  water ;  nor  if  all  Hebrus  were 
his  own,  and  rich  Hydaspes  should  be  added  to  his 
fields,  and  he  should  gaze  on  Ganges  flowing  with  all 
its  stream  within  his  boundaries.  For  greed,  for 
greed  all  nature  is  too  little. 

632  One  man  courts  kings  and  homes  of  kings,  not 
that  his  ploughman,  forever  stooping  o'er  the  deep- 
driven  share,  may  never  cease  his  toil,  or  that  the 
peasantry  may  till  his  thousand  fields  ;  but  wealth 
alone,  which  he  may  hoard  away,  he  seeks.  Another 
man  courts  kings  that  he  may  trample  all,  may  ruin 
many  and  establish  none ;  he  covets  power  only  to 
harm  therewith. 

640  How  few  live  out  their  allotted  span  !  Whom 
Cynthia  z  saw  in  happiness,  the  new-born  day  sees 
wretched.  'Tis  rare  to  find  old  age  and  happiness 
in  one.  The  couch  of  turf,  softer  than  Tynan 
purple,  oft  soothes  to  fearless  slumber;  but  gilded 


2  Spain. 

8  i.e.  the  moon  of  the  previous  night. 


237 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

aurea  rumpunt  tecta  quietem 

vigilesque  trahit  purpura  rioctes 

o  si  pateant  pectora  ditum  ! 

quantos  intus  sublimis  agit 

fortuna  metus !     Bruttia  Coro  650 

pulsante  fretum  lenior  unda  est. 

pectora  pauper  secura  gerit ; 

tenet  e  patula  pocula  fago, 

sed  non  trepida  tenet  ilia  manu  ; 

carpit  faciles  vilesque  cibos, 

sed  non  strictos  respicit  enses. 

aurea  miscet  pocula  sanguis. 

Coniunx  modico  nupta  marito 
non  disposito  clara  moriili 

gestat  pelagi  dona  rubentis,  660 

nee  gemmiferas  detrahit  aures 
lapis  Eoa  lectus  in  unda, 
nee  Sidonio  mollis  aeno 
repetita  bibit  lana  rubores, 
nee  Maeonia  distinguit  acu 
quae  Phoebeis  subditus  euris 
legit  Eois  Ser  arboribus. 
quaelibet  herbae  tinxere  colus 
quas  indoctae  nevere  manus  ; 
sed  non  dubios  fovet  ilia  toros.  670 

sequitur  dira  lampade  Erinys 
quarum  populi  coluere  diem  ; 
nee  sibi  felix  pauper  habetur 
nisi  felices  cecidisse  videt. 

Quisquis  medium  defugit  iter 
stabili  numquam  tramite  currit. 
dum  petit  unum  praebere  diem 

1  The  north-west  wind. 

a  The  reference  is  to  the  story  of  the  sword  of  Damocles. 
See  Index, 

238 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

ceilings  break  our  rest,  and  purple  coverlets  drag  out 
wakeful  nights.  Oh,  if  the  hearts  of  rich  men 
were  laid  bare !  What  fears  does  lofty  fortune  stir 
within!  The  waves  of  Bruttium,  when  Corus l 
lashes  up  the  sea,  are  calmer  far.  The  poor  man's 
heart  is  free  from  care  ;  he  holds  cups  carved  from 
the  wide-spreading  beech,  but  holds  them  with  hand 
untrembling  ;  he  eats  but  cheap  and  common  food,, 
yet  sees  no  drawn  sword  2  hanging  o'er  his  head ! 
'Tis  in  golden  cups  that  blood  is  mixed  with  wine.3 

658  The  wife  who  is  wed  to  one  of  modest  means 
is  not  bedecked  with  necklaces  of  pearl,  the  red  sea's 
gift,  nor  do  stones  gathered  on  Orient  shores  weigh 
down  her  gem-laden  ears  ;  for  her  no  soft  wool  twice 
dipped  in  Sidonian  cauldrons  drinks  scarlet  dyes  ; 
not  hers  with  Maeonian  4  needle  to  embroider  stuffs 
which  Serians  under  sunlit  skies  gather  5  from  eastern 
trees.  'Tis  but  common  herbs  that  dye  the  webs 
which  her  unskilled  hands  have  woven ;  but  she 
cherishes  a  marriage-couch  all  undisturbed.  With 
cruel  torch  doth  Fury  pursue  the  bride  whose  wed- 
ding-day great  throngs  have  celebrated  ;  nor  does  the 
poor  man  count  himself  full  blest,  unless  he  sees  the 
blessed  fallen  from  their  height. 

675  Whoever  has  left  the  middle  course  fares  never 
in  path  secure.  While  for  one  day  the  youth  6  sought 

3  The  author  may  have  the  story  of  Atreus  and  Thyestes 
in  mind. 

4  The  Lvdian  (Maeonian)  women  were  famous  for   their 
skill  in  embroidery. 

6  The  reference  is  to  silk -culture,  for  which  the  Seres  (the 
Chinese)  were  well  known  among  the  ancients. 
8  Phaethon. 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

patrioque  puer  constitit  axe 

nee  per  solitum  decurrit  iter, 

sed  Phoebeis  ignota  petens  680 

sidera  fiammis  errante  rota, 

secum  pariter  perdidit  orbem. 

medium  caeli  dum  sulcat  iter, 

tenuit  placitas  Daedalus  oras 

nullique  dedit  nomina  ponto  ; 

sed  dum  volucres  vincere  veras 

Icarus  audet  patriasque  puer 

despicit  alas  Phoeboque  volat 

proxumus  ipsi,  dedit  ignoto 

nomina  ponto.     male  pensantur  690 

magna  ruinis. 

Felix  alius  magnusque  sonet ; 
me  nulla  vocet  turba  potentem. 
stringat  tenuis  litora  puppis 
nee  magna  meas  aura  phaselos 
iubeat  medium  scindere  pontum ; 
transit  tutos  Fortuna  sinus 
medioque  rates  quaerit  in  alto, 
quarum  feriunt  si  para  nubes. 

Sed  quid  pavido  territa  vultu,  700 

qualis  Baccho  saucia  maenas, 
fertur  dubio  1  regina  gradu  ? 
quae  te  rursus  fortuna  rotat? 
miseranda,  refer  :   licet  i])sa  neges, 
vultus  loquitur  quodcumque  tegis. 

DEIANIRA 

Vagus  per  artus  errat  excussos  tremor, 
erectus  horret  crinis,  impulsis  adhuc 

1  So  Gronovins  :  ]mc(V\o  Leo,   with   K :  rap  i  do  A.  trepido 
Paphtliug:  fert  in  medium  .  .  .  gradum  Rickltr. 

240 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

to  furnish  light  and  took  his  stand  within  his  father's 
car,  and  while  he  passed  not  o'er  the  accustomed 
track,  but  sought  the  stars  unknown  to  Phoebus'  rays 
with  wandering  wheel,  himself  he  ruined  and  the 
world,  as  well.  Daedalus,  cleaving  his  path  midway 
the  heavens,  reached  peaceful  shores  and  to  no  sea 
gave  his  name;  but  while  young  Icarus  dared  rival 
true  birds  in  flight,  looked  down  upon  his  father's 
wings  and  soared  aloft  close  to  the  sun  itself,  to  an  un- 
known sea l  he  gave  his  name.  To  our  undoing, 
high  fortunes  are  by  ruin  balanced. 

692  Let  another  be  noised  abroad  as  blest  and  great ; 
but  let  no  throng  hail  me  as  powerful.  Let  my  frail 
craft  keep  close  to  shore,  and  let  no  strong  wind 
compel  my  bark  to  plough  the  mighty  deep  ;  mis- 
fortune passes  by  quiet  ports,  and  seeks  for  ships 
sailing  the  open  sea,  whose  topsails  smite  the  clouds- 

[DEIANIRA  appears  hurrying  distractedly  from  the  palace.] 

700  But  why  in  terror  and  with  face  of  fear,  like 
some  rage-smit  Bacchante,  comes  the  queen  with 
step  uncertain  ? 

[Enter  DEIANIRA] 

What  new  reverse  of  fortune  whirls  thee  about  ? 
Poor  lady,  tell  us.  Though  thou  thyself  sayst  naught, 
thy  face  speaks  out  whate'er  thou  hidest. 

DEIANIRA 

Vague  shivers  steal  through  my  trembling  limbs, 
my  hair  starts  up  in  horror  ;  fear  sticks  in  my  soul 

1  The  Icariaa  sea. 

241 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

stat  terror  animis  et  cor  attonitum  salit 

pavidumque  trepidis  pal  pi  tat  venis  iecur. 

ut  fractus  austro  pontus  etiamnum  tumet,  710 

quamvis  quiescat  languidis  ventis  dies, 

ita  mens  adhuc  vexatur  excusso  metu. 

semel  profecto  premere  felices  deus 

cum  coepit,  urget.     hos  habent  magna  exitus. 

NVTRIX 
Quis  tarn  impotens,  miseranda,  te  casus  rotat  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Vt  missa  palla  est  tabe  Nessea  inlita 
thalamisque  maerens  intuli  gressum  meis, 
nescio  quid  animus  timuit 1  et  fraudem  struit? 
libet  experiri.     solibus  dirus  ferum 
flammisque  Nessus  sanguinem  ostcndi  arcuit ;        720 
hie  ipse  fraudes  esse  praemonuit  dolus. 

Et  forte,  nulla  nube  respersus  iubar, 
laxabat  ardens  fervidum  Titan  diem. — 
vix  ora  solvi  patitur  etiam  nunc  timor. — 
medios  in  ignes  solis  eiceram  facem  2 
quo  tincta  fuerat  palla  vestisque  inlita. 
abiectus  horret  sanguis  et  Phoebi  coma  3 
tepefactus  ardet — vix  queo  monstrum  eloqui.4 
nives  ut  Eurus  solvit  aut  tepidus  Notus, 
quas  vere  primo  lucidus  perdit  Mimas,  730 

1  Leo  conjectures  a  lacuna  here  and  suggests  an  moriens 
viro  I  poenas   parat   Centaurus  :    Richter  reads  timuit.     an 
fraudem  struit? 

2  f  eiceram  facem  Leo,  with  E,  conjecturing  medios  in  ignes 
vellus  eieci  madens  :  solis  et  claram  facem  A. 

242 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

till  now  so  passion-tossed  ;  my  heart  leaps  wildly 
and  my  quaking  liver  throbs  with  pulsing  veins.  As 
when  the  storm-tossed  sea  still  heaves,  though  the 
skies  are  clear  and  the  winds  have  died  away,  so  is 
my  soul  still  troubled,  though  my  fear  has  been 
allayed.  Surely  when  God  has  once  begun  to  oppress 
the  fortunate,  he  bears  down  hard.  To  such  an  end 
do  mighty  fortunes  come. 

NURSE 

What  headstrong  fate,  poor  soul,  whirls  thee 
about  ? 

DEIANIRA 

When  I  had  sent  away  the  robe  anointed  with 
Nessus'  blood,  and,  sad  at  heart,  betook  me  to  my 
chamber,  my  soul  feared  I  know  not  what — did  the 
dying  centaur  'gainst  my  husband  plan  revenge,1  and 
plot  some  treachery  ?  I  was  pleased  to  make  the  test. 
Dread  Nessus  forbade  me  to  expose  the  wild  blood 
to  the  sun's  rays  and  to  fire ;  and  this  artifice  itself 
forewarned  me  of  treachery. 

722  It  chanced  the  burning  sun,  its  radiance  by  no 
cloud  dimmed,  was  setting  free  the  day's  fervid 
heat. — Even  now  my  fear  scarce  suffers  me  to  speak. — 
Right  into  the  hot  sunlight  I  had  thrown  the  blood- 
soaked  fleece1  with  which  the  robe  had  been 
moistened  and  the  garment  smeared.  The  bloody 
fleece  I  flung  writhed  horribly  and,  warmed  with  the 
sun's  rays,  burst  aflame — I  have  scarce  words  to 
tell  of  the  awful  thing.  As  the  East  or  the  warm 
South-wind  melts  the  snows  which  glistening  Mimas 
1  Translating  Leo's  conjecture. 

3  So  5-  ;  Leo  fcomam. 

*  £o  A  :  Leo  fastris  vix  quoque  est.     m.  elocor. 

243 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 
utque  evolutos  frangit  lonio  salo 
opposita  fluctus  Leucas  et  lassus  tumor 
in  litore  ipso  spumat,  aut  caelestibus 
aspersa  tepidis  tura  laxantur  focis, 
sic  languet  omne  vellus  et  perdit  comas, 
dumque  ista  miror,  causa  mirandi  perit ; 
quin  ipsa  tell  us  spumeos  motus  agit 
et  quidquid  ilia  tabe  contactum  est  labat.1 

Natum  paventem  cerno  et  ardenti  pede  740 

gressus  ferentem.     prome  quid  portes  novi.2 

HYLLVS 

!_,  profuge,  quaere  si  quid  ulterius  patet 
terris  freto  sideribus  Oceano  inferis, — • 
ultra  labores,  mater,  Alcidae  fuge  ! 

DEI  AN  IRA 

Nescio  quod  animus  grande  praesagit  malum. 

HYLLVS 

Regnat,  triumphat  3  ;  templa  lunonis  pete, 
haec  tibi  patent  ;  delubra  praeclusa  omnia. 

DEIANIRA 

Effare  quis  me  casus  insontem  premat. 

1  Following  line  738  in  A  stands  (he  unintelligible  line 
tumensque  tacita  sequitur  et  (juassat  caput. 

a  Leo  deletes  lines  740,  741,  assuming  a  considerable  lacuna 
between  738  and  742. 

244 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

loses  in  early  spring ;  as  'gainst  Leucadia's  crags, 
breasting  the  Ionian  sea,  the  up-flung  waves  are 
broken  and  with  spent  fury  foam  upon  the  shore,  or 
as  incense  sprinkled  on  holy  shrines  is  melted  in  the 
hot  altar-fires  ;  so  all  the  wool  withered  and  lost  its 
fleece.  And  while  I  stood  wondering  at  it,  the 
object  of  my  wonder  disappears  ;  nay,  even  the  very 
ground  begins  to  foam,  and  whatever  that  poison 
touched  begins  to  shrink. 

[HVLLUS  is  seen  approaching] 

740  But  I  see  my  son  approaching  with  face  of  fear 
and  hurrying  feet. 

\To  HYLLUS] 

Speak  out — what  tidings  dost  thou  bear  ? 

HYLLUS  [hurrying  upon  the  scene] 

Go !  flee !  seek  out  whatever  place  lies  far  away 
on  land,  on  sea,  'mongst  stars,  in  Ocean,  under- 
world— far  beyond  the  labours  of  Alcides,  mother, 
flee! 

DEIANIRA 

Some  great  disaster  doth  my  mind  presage. 

HYLLUS 

She  l  reigns,  she  triumphs  ;  Juno's  temple  seek. 
This  sanctuary  waits  thee ;  closed  is  all  refuge  else. 

DEIANIRA 

Tell  what  disaster  my  guiltless  self  o'erwhelms. 

1  i.e.  Juno. 

3  Leo's  conjecture  for  regna  triumphi  of  MSS. 

245 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

HYLLVS 

Decus  illud  orbis  atque  praesidium  unicum, 
quern  fata  terris  in  locum  dederant  lovis,  750 

o  mater,  abiit.     membra  et  Herculeos  toros 
urit  lues  nescio  qua ;  qui  domuit  feras, 
ille  ille  victor  vincitur  maeret  dolet. 
quid  quaeris  ultra? 

DEIAMRA 

Miserias  properant  suas 
audire  miseri.     fare,  quo  posita  in  statu 
iam  nostra  domus  est  ?     o  lares,  miseri  lares  1 
nunc  vidua,  nunc  expulsa,  nunc  ferar  obruta, 

HYLLVS 

Non  sola  maeres  Herculem,  toto  iacet 
mundo  gemendus.  fata  nee,  mater,  tua 
privata  credas  :  iam  genus  totum  obstrepit.  760 

hunc  ecce  luctu  quern  gemis  cuncti  gemunt, 
commune  terris  omnibus  pateris  malum. 
luctum  occupasti :  prima,  non  sola  Herculem, 
miseranda,  maeres. 

DEIANIRA 

Quam  prope  a  leto  tamen 
ede,  ede  quaeso  iaceat  Alcides  meus. 

HYLLVS 

Mors  refugit  ilium  victa  quae  in  regno  suo 
semel  est  nee  audent  fata  tarn  vastum  nefas 
admittere.      ipsas  forsitan  trepida  colus 
Clotho  manu  proiecit  et  fata  Herculis 


246 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

HYLLUS 

That  glory  and  sole  guardian  of  the  world,  whom 
the  fates  had  given  to  the  lands  in  the  place  of  Jove, 

0  mother,  is  no  more.     The    limbs    and    thews  of 
Hercules    a    mysterious   plague  is  wasting;  and   he 
who  conquered  monsters,  he,  he,  the  victor,  is  van- 
quished, is  in  grief,  in  agony.     What  more  dost  ask  ? 

DEIANIRA 

The  wretched  are  in  haste  to  hear  their  wretched- 
ness. Tell  me  :  in  what  condition  now  stands  our 
house  ?  O  home,  O  wretched  home  I  Now  truly  am 

1  widowed,  exiled,  overwhelmed. 

HYLLUS 

Not  thou  alone  dost  lament  Hercules ;  low  he 
lies  for  the  whole  world  to  mourn.  And  think  not, 
mother,  thine  is  a  private  loss ;  now  the  whole 
race  is  clamorous  with  woe.  Lo,  all  men  utter  thy 
self-same  groans  of  grief;  common  to  all  lands  is  the 
ill  thou  sufferest.  Thou  hast  forestalled  their  grief; 
first,  but  not  all  alone,  poor  soul,  dost  thou  mourn 
Hercules. 

DEIANIRA 

Yet  tell  me,  tell,  I  beg,  how  near  to  death  does 
my  Alcides  lie. 

HYLLUS 

Death,  who  once  in  his  own  realm  was  overcome,1 
flees  from  him  ;  nor  do  the  fates  dare  countenance 
so  great  a  crime.  Perchance  Clotho  has  thrown 
aside  her  very  distaff  from  her  trembling  hand,  and 

1  A  probable  reference  to  the  struggle  of  Hercules  with 
Death  for  the  recovery  of  Alcestis. 

247 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

timet  peragere.      pro  diem,  infandum  diem  !  770 

hocne  ille  summo  magnus  Alcides  erit  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Ad  fata  et  umbras  adque  peiorem  polum 
praecedere  ilium  dicis  ?     an  possum  prior 
mortem  occupare  ?     fare,  si  nondum  occidit. 

HYLLVS 

Euboica  tell  us  vertice  immense  tumens 
pulsatur  omni  latere.      Phrixeum  mare 
scindit  Caphereus,  servit  hoc  Austro  latus  ; 
at  qua  nivosi  patitur  Aquilonis  minas, 
Euripus  undas  flectit  instabilis  vagas 
septemque  cursus  volvit  et  totidem  refert,  780 

dum  lassa  Titan  mergat  Oceano  iuga. 
hie  rupe  celsa,  multa  quam  nubes  ferit, 
annosa  fulgent  templa  Cenaei  lovis. 

Ut  stetit  ad  aras  omne  votivum  pecus 
totumque  tauris  gemuit  auratis  nemus, 
spolium  leonis  sordidum  tabo  exuit 
posuitque  clavae  pondus  et  pharetra  graves 
laxavit  umeros.     veste  turn  fulgens  tua, 
cana  revinctus  populo  horrentem  comam, 
succendit  aras  ;  "  accipe  has  "  inquit  "  focis  790 

non  false  messes  genitor  et  largo  sacer 
splendescat  ignis  ture,  quod  Phoebum  colens 
dives  Sabaeis  colligit  truncis  Arabs, 
pacata  tellus  "  inquit  "  et  caelum  et  freta, 

1  i.e.  the  Aegaean.     See  Index  s.v.  "Phrixus." 

2  Seneca's  description  in  this  passage  of  the  topography  of 
Euboea  is  not  correct.     The  Cenaean   Promontory   is  at  the 
far  north-western  point  of  the  island,  while  the  Strait  of 

248 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

is  afraid  to  complete  the  fates  of  Hercules.  O  day, 
O  awful  day  !  And  shall  this  for  the  great  Alcides 
be  the  last  ? 

DEIANIRA 

To  the  shades  of  death  and  to  that  darker  world 
dost  say  he  has  gone  already?  Can  I  not  go  before 
and  anticipate  his  death  ?  Speak,  if  he  is  not  yet 
fallen. 

HYLLUS 

Euboea's  shore,  swelling  with  mighty  headland, 
on  every  side  is  beaten  by  the  waves.  Caphereus 
cleaves  the  Phrixean 1  Sea,  on  this  side  the  south- 
wind  blows ;  but  on  the  side  which  feels  the 
blasts  of  snowy  Aquilo,  restless  Euripus  turns  his 
wandering  waves,  whose  currents  seven  times  flow 
and  seven  times  ebb  again,  till  Titan  plunges  his 
weary  horses  in  the  sea.  Here  on  a  lofty  cliff,  by 
many  a  storm-cloud  beaten,  an  ancient  temple  of 
Cenaean  Jove  stands  gleaming.2 

78J  When  all  the  votive  herd  stood  at  the  altars, 
and  the  whole  grove  was  filled  with  the  bellowing 
of  the  gilded  bulls,  he3  put  off  his  lion's  skin,  all 
stained  with  gore,  laid  down  his  heavy  club  and 
freed  his  shoulders  of  the  quiver's  weight.  Then 
radiant  in  thy  robe,  his  rough  hair  wreathed  with 
hoary  poplar,  he  lit  the  altar-fires.  "Accept  these 
gifts,"  he  said,  "  upon  thy  shrine,  O  father,  not 
falsely  claimed,  and  let  thy  sacred  fire  blaze  brightly 
with  copious  incense  which  the  rich  Arab  gathers 
from  Sabaean  trees,  in  worship  of  the  Sun.  Peace 
has  been  given  to  earth,  to  sky,  to  sea  ;  all  monsters 

Euripu8  is  very  nearly  off  the  middle  point.  Caphereus, 
moreover,  is  exposed  not  to  the  south  but  almost  directly  to 
the  east  wind.  8  i.e.  Hercules. 

249 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

feris  subactis  omnibus  victor  redi. 
depone  fulmen." 

Gemitus  in  medias  preces 
stupente  et  ipso  cecidit ;  hinc  caelum  horrido 
clamore  complet.     qualis  impressa  fugax 
taurus  bipenni  volnus  et  telum  ferens 
delubra  vasto  trepida  mugitu  replet,  800 

aut  quale  mundo  fulmen  emissum  tonat, 
sic  ille  gemitu  sidera  et  pontum  ferit, 
et  vasta  Chalcis  sonuit  et  voces  Cyclas 
excepit  omnis  ;  hinc  petrae  Capherides, 
hinc  omne  voces  reddit  Herculeas  nemus. 
flentem  videmus.     volgus  antiquam  putat 
rabiem  redisse ;  turn  fugam  famuli  petimt. 

At  ille  voltus  ignea  torquens  face 
unum  inter  omnes  sequitur  et  quaerit  Lichan. 
complexus  aras  ille  tremibunda  manu  810 

mortem  metu  consumpsit  et  parvum  sui 
poenae  reliquit.     dumque  1  tremibundum  manu 
tenuit  cadaver :  "  hac  manu,  hac  "  inquit  "  ferar, 
o  fata,  victus  ?     Herculem  vicit  Lichas? 
ecce  alia  clades  :  Hercules  perimit  Lichan. 
facta  inquinentur  ;  fiat  hie  summus  labor." 
in  astra  missus  fertur  et  nubes  vago 
spargit  cruore.     talis  in  caelum  exilit 
harundo  Getica  visa  dimitti  manu 
aut  quam  Cydon  excussit  :  inferius  tamen  820 

et  tela  fugient.     truncus  in  pontum  cadit, 
in  saxa  vertex  ;  unus  ambobus  iacet. 

1  Leo  conjectures  semianiraum  pareua. 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

have  I  subdued  and  in  triumph  come  again.  Lay 
down  thy  thunderbolt." 

736  As  he  thus  prayed  a  groan  fell  from  his  lips, 
even  he  standing  aghast ;  then  with  dreadful  cries 
he  filled  the  air.  As  when  a  bull,  fleeing  the  deep- 
driven  axe,  bearing  both  wound  and  weapon,  fills 
with  his  huge  bellowings  the  affrighted  shrine,  or  as 
the  launched  thunder  crashes  in  the  sky ;  so  did  he 
with  his  roarings  smite  the  stars  and  sea ;  towering 
Chalcis  reechoed  and  all  the  Cyclades  heard  his 
cries ;  then  all  Caphereus'  crags  and  the  whole 
forest  resounded  with  the  cries  of  Hercules.  We 
saw  him  weep.  The  commons  thought  his  ancient 
madness  had  returned  ;  then  his  attendants  fled. 

808  But  he,  his  face  writhing  with  pain  of  the 
burning  heat,  pursued  and  sought  out  Lichas  alone 
among  them  all.  The  boy,  embracing  the  altar  with 
trembling  hands,  through  sheer  terror  tasted  the 
pangs  of  death,  and  left  small  part  of  his  life  for 
punishment.  Then  Hercules,  by  his  hand  seizing 
the  quivering  corpse,  exclaimed :  "  By  such  a  hand, 
by  such  a  hand  as  this,  ye  fates,  shall  I  be  said  to 
haye  been  undone  ?  Has  Lichas  conquered  Hercules  ? 
Behold  another  slaughter  ;  Hercules  in  turn  slays 
Lichas.  Be  my  deeds  dishonoured ;  be  this  my 
crowning  task."  To  the  stars  the  boy  went  hurtling 
and  sprinkled  the  clouds  with  his  scattered  blood. 
So  does  a  Getan  arrow,  from  the  hand  let  fly,  go 
speeding  skyward,  or  the  shaft  a  Cydonian  has  shot ; 
but  far  below l  even  these  weapons  will  wing  their 
flight.  His  body  falls  into  the  sea,  his  head  upon  the 
rocks ;  one  youth  lies  slain  in  both.2 


1  i.e.  below  the  height  reached  by  Lichas. 
*  i.e.  both  head  and  body. 


251 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

"  Resistite  "   inquit  "  non  furor  mentem  abstulit, 
furore  gravius  istud  atque  ira  malum  est : 
in  me  iuvat  saevire."     vix  pestem  indicat 
et  saevit ;  artus  ipse  dilacerat  suos 
et  membra  vasta  carpit  avellens  manu. 
exuere  amictus  quaerit ;  hoc  solum  Herculem 
non  posse  vidi.     trahere  conatus  tamen 
et  membra  traxit ;  corporis  palla  horridi  830 

pars  est  et  ipsa ;  pestis  immiscet  cuti.1 
nee  causa  dirae  cladis  in  medio  patet, 
sed  causa  tamen  est ;  vixque  sufficiens  malo 
nunc  ore  terram  languidus  prono  premit, 
nunc  poscit  undas — unda  non  vincit  malum  ; 
fluctisona  quaerit  litora  et  ponturn  occupat ; 
famularis  ilium  retinet  errantem  manus — 
o  sortem  acerbam  !     fuimus  Alcidae  pares  ! 

Nunc  puppis  ilium  litore  Euboico  refert 
Austerque  lenis  pondus  Herculeum  rapit ;  840 

destituit  animus  membra,  nox  oculos  premit. 

DEI  AN  IRA 

Quid,  anime,  cessas?  quid  stupes?  factum  est  scelus. 
natum  reposcit  luppiter,  luno  aemulum ; 
reddendus  orbi  est.     quod  potes  redde  exhibe  : 
eat  per  artus  ensis  exactus  meos. 
sic,  sic  agendum  est.     tarn  levis  poenas  manus 
tantas  reposcit  ?     perde  fulminibus,  socer, 

1  Following  Richter's  reconstruction:  pars  (parum  E)  est  et 
ipsam  (ipsa  A)  MSS.,  for  which  Leo  conjectures  ipsam  pestis 
immiscet  cutem  (scil.  pcdlae). 

1  And  not  against  others  as  heretofore. 
252 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

823  «  But  hold  !  "  said  Hercules  ;  "  'tis  not  madness 
has  robbed  me  of  my  wits ;  this  bane  is  worse  than 
madness  and  than  rage ;  I  am  fain  to  rave  against 
myself."  l  Scarce  has  he  named  the  plague  when 
lo,  he  raves,,  he  tears  his  own  flesh  apart,  with  his 
own  hand  wounding  and  rending  his  huge  limbs. 
He  seeks  to  throw  aside  the  robe ;  in  this  alone  have 
I  seen  Alcides  fail.  Yet  striving  to  tear  the  robe, 
he  tears  his  limbs  as  well.  The  robe  is  part  and 
parcel  of  his  rugged  body  ;  the  pest  blends  it  with 
the  skin.  The  cause  of  his  dire  suffering  is  hid,  but 
still  there  is  a  cause ;  and,  scarce  able  to  endure  his 
pain,  now  he  lies  spent,  face  down  upon  the  ground, 
now  calls  for  water — water  checks  not  his  pain  ;  he 
seeks  the  wave-resounding  shore  and  plunges  in  the 
sea,  but  a  slave's  hand  restrains  him  wandering 
aimless  there — oh,  bitter  lot !  we  were  Alcides' 
equals ! 2 

839  And  now  a  vessel  is  bringing  him  from  Euboea's 
shore,  and  a  gentle  south  wind  wafts  his  huge  bulk 
along ;  his  spirit  has  left  his  body ;  night  seals  his 
eyes. 

DE'IANIRA 

Why,  soul,  dost  hesitate  ?  Why  art  amazed  ?  The 
crime  is  done.  Jupiter  demands  back  his  son  of 
thee,  Juno,  her  rival ;  yea,  to  the  world  must  he  be 
restored.3  What  still  thou  canst,  give  back,  make 
restitution ;  let  the  sword,  deep  driven,  through  my 
body  pass.  So,  so  must  it  be  done.  But  does  so 
frail  hand  as  this  exact  punishment  so  great  ?  With 
thy  thunderbolts,  O  sire,  destroy  thy  guilty  daughter. 

2  i.e.  in  the  hero's  present  weakness,  common  men  were 
able  to  control  him. 

3  She  has  robbed  the  world  of  Hercules,  and  now  must 
make  such  restitution  as  she  may. 

953 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

nurum  scelestam.     nee  levi  telo  manus 

armetur;  illud  fulmen  exiliat  polo, 

quo,  nisi  fuisset  genitus  Alcides  tibi,  850 

hydram  cremasses.     pestem  ut  insolitam  feri 

et  ut  noverca  potius  irata  malum. 

emitte  telum  quale  in  errantem  prius 

Phaethonta  missum  est :  perdidi  in  solo  Hercule 

et  ipsa  populos. 

Quid  rogas  telum  deos  ? 
iam  parce  socero ;  coniugem  Alcidae  necem 
optare  pudeat ;  haec  erit  voto  manus, 
a  me  petatur ;  occupa  ferrum  ocius. 
cur  deinde  ferrum  ?     quidquid  ad  mortem  trahit 
telum  est  abunde — rupe  ab  aetheria  ferar.  860 

haec,  haec  renatum  prima  quae  poscit  diem, 
Oeta  eligatur,  corpus  hinc  mitti  placet, 
abrupta  cautes  scindat  et  partem  mei 
ferat  omne  saxum,  pendeant  lacerae  manus 
totumque  rubeat  asperi  montis  latus. 
levis  una  mors  est — levis  ?     at  extendi  potest. 
eligere  nescis,  anime,  cui  telo  incubes ; 
utinam  esset,  utinam  fixus  in  thalamis  meis 
Herculeus  ensis  !     huic  decet  ferro  inmori. 
una  perire  dextera  nobis  sat  est  ?  870 

coite,  gentes,  saxa  et  immensas  faces 
iaculetur  orbis,  nulla  nunc  cesset  manus, 
corripite  tela,  vindicem  vestrum  abstuli. 
impune  saevi  sceptra  iam  reges  gerent, 
impune  iam  nascetur  indomitum  malum ; 
repetentur  arae  cernere  assuetae  hostiam 
similem  colenti.     sceleribus  feci  viarn  ; 

254 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

And  with  no  common  weapon  let  thy  hand  be  armed  ; 
let  that  bolt  leap  from  heaven  with  which,  had 
Alcides  not  sprung  from  thee,  thou  wouldst  have 
scorched  the  Hydra.  Destroy  me  as  some  strange 
pest,  as  a  scourge  far  worse  than  step-dame's  wrath. 
Launch  such  a  bolt  as  once  thou  didst  hurl  at  stray- 
ing Phaethon  ;  for  I,  e'en  I  myself,  in  Hercules  alone 
have  ruined  nations. 

855  But  why  dost  ask  weapons  of  the  gods?  At 
last  spare  thy  father.1  The  wife  of  Hercules  should 
be  ashamed  to  pray  for  death  ;  this  hand  shall  grant 
my  prayer ;  from  myself  let  death  be  sought.  Then 
quickly  seize  the  sword. — Why  then  the  sword? 
Whatever  brings  to  death  is  weapon  all-sufficient — 
from  a  sky-piercing  cliff  I'll  cast  me  down.  Let  this, 
this  crag  of  Oeta,  which  is  the  first  to  greet  the  new- 
born day,  be  chosen ;  from  this  'tis  well  to  fling  me. 
May  its  broken  crags  rend  asunder,  and  every  rock 
take  its  share  of  me ;  may  my  mangled  hands  hang 
there,  and  may  the  whole  rough  mountain-side  run 
red.  One  death  is  all  too  light — light?  but  still  it 
can  be  prolonged.  Thou  canst  not  choose,  O  soul, 
on  what  weapon  thou  shalt  fall.  Oh,  would  that  the 
sword  of  Hercules  were  hanging  in  my  chamber! 
Upon  that  steel  'twere  well  for  me  to  die.  But  is  it 
enough  that  by  one  right  hand  I  perish  ?  Come  all 
ye  nations ;  let  the  world  cast  rocks  and  huge  fire- 
brands on  me ;  let  no  hand  shrink  its  task ;  seize 
weapons,  for  your  avenger  have  I  done  to  death. 
Now  with  impunity  shall  cruel  kings  wield  sceptres ; 
yea,  with  impunity  now  fierce  monsters  shall  be  born ; 
again  shall  altars  be  found  wont  to  behold  victim 
like  to  worshipper.2  A  highway  to  crime  have  I 

1  i.e.  do  not  impose  thy  punishment  on  Jove. 

2  i.e.  where  human  sacrifices  are  offered  up. 

255 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ego  vos  tyrannis  regibus  monstris  feris 

saevisque  rapto  vindice  opposui  deis. 

cessas,  Tonantis  socia  ?     non  spargis  facem  880 

imitata  fratrem  et  mittis  ereptam  lovi 

meque  ipsa  perdis  ?     laus  tibi  erepta  incluta  est, 

ingens  triumphus  ;  aemuli,  luno,  tui 

mortem  occupavi. 

HYLLVS 

Quid  domum  impulsam  trahis  ? 
erroris  est  hie  omne  quodcumque  est  nefas. 
liaut  est  nocens  quicumque  non  sponte  est  nocens. 

DEIANIRA 

Quicumque  fato  ignoscit  et  parcit  sibi, 
errare  meruit.     morte  damnari  placet. 

HYLLVS 
Nocens  videri  qui  mori  quaerit  cupit. 

DEIANIRA 
Mors  innocentes  sola  deceptos  facit.  890 

HYLLU8 

Titana  fugiens — 

DEIANIRA 
Ipse  me  Titan  fug't. 

HYLLVS 
Vitam  relinques  ? 

1  i.e.  the  "nation"  addressed  in  line  871. 
256 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

prepared ;  I  have  exposed  you l  to  tyrants,  kings, 
monsters,  wild  beasts  and  cruel  gods,  by  slaying  your 
avenger.  Dost  shirk  thy  task,  wife2  of  the  thun- 
derer?  Why  dost  thou  not,  in  imitation  of  thy 
brother,2  scatter  fire,  snatch  from  Jove's  hand  his 
bolt,  hurl  it,  and  thyself  destroy  me  ?  Illustrious 
praise  and  mighty  triumph  have  been  snatched  from 
thee ;  I  have  forestalled  thee,  Juno,  in  thy  rival's 
death. 

HYLLUS 

Why  dost  drag  down  a  house  already  shaken  ? 
From  error  springs  wholly  whatever  crime  is  here. 
He  does  no  sin  who  sins  without  intent. 

DEIANIRA 

Whoever,  because  of  fate,  excuses  and  spares  him- 
self, has  deserved  to  err.  My  sentence  is  for  death. 

HYLLUS 
Fain  would  he  seem  guilty  who  seeks  to  die. 

DEIANIRA 

'Tis  death  alone  can  make  the  beguiled 3  innocent. 

HYLLUS 
Fleeing  the  sun — 

DEIANIRA 

The  sun  himself  flees  me. 

HYLLUS 

Wilt  abandon  life  ? 

2  Juno  was  both  sister  and  wife  of  Jove. 
*  i.e.  those  who  have  been  ensnared  into  sin. 

257 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

DEIANIRA 

Miseram,  ut  Alciden  sequar. 

HYLLVS 

Superest  et  auras  ille  caelestes  trahit. 

DEIANIRA 

Vinci  Hercules  cum  potuit,  hinc  coepit  mori. 

HYLLVS 

Natum  relinques  fataque  abrumpes  tua  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Quamcumque  natus  sepelit  haec  vixit  diu. 

HYLLVS 

Virum  sequeris. 

DEIANIRA 

Praegredi  castae  solent. 

HYLLVS 

Si  te  ips.i  damnas,  scelere  te  misera  arguis. 

DEIANIRA 

Nemo  nocens  sibi  ipse  poenas  abrogat. 

HYLLVS 

Multis  remissa  est  vita  quorum  error  nocens,     900 
non  dextra  fuerat.     fata  quis  damnat  sua  ? 


258 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

DEIANIRA 

Ay !  a  wretched  life — that  Alcides  I  may  follow. 

HYLLUS 

But  he  still  lives  and  breathes  the  air  of  heaven. 

DEIANIRA 

When    Hercules    could    be    conquered,   then    he 
began  to  die. 

HYLLUS 

Wilt  leave  thy  son?     Wilt  break   thy  thread   of 
life? 

DEIANIRA 

She  whom  her  son  has  buried  has  lived  long. 

HYLLUS 

Follow  thy  husband.1 

DEIANIRA 

Faithful  wives  go  before. 

HYLLUS 

If  thou  thyself  dost  doom  thee,  thou  convictest 
thyself,  unhappy  one,  of  sin. 

DEIANIRA 

No  guilty  one  himself  annuls  his  punishment. 

HYLLUS 

Life  has  been   granted  many  whose  guilt  lay  in 
wrong  judgment,  not  in  act.     Who  blames  his  own 

destiny  ? 

1  i.e.  do  not  die  until  he  is  dead. 

259 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

DE'IANIRA 

Quicuraque  fata  iniqua  sortitus  fuit. 

HYLLVS 

Hie  ipse  Megaram  nempe  confixam  suis 
stravit  sagittis  atque  natorum  indolem 
Lernaea  figens  tela  furibunda  manu  ; 
ter  parricida  factus  ignovit  tamen 
sibi,  non  furori.     fonte  Cinyphio  scelus 
sub  axe  Libyco  tersit  et  dextram  abluit. 
quo,  misera,  pergis  ?     cur  tuas  damnas  man  us  ? 

DEIANIRA 

Damnat  meas  devictus  Alcides  manus.  910 

placet  scelus  pilnire. 

HYLLVS 

• 

Si  novi  Herculem, 
aderit  cruenti  forsitan  victor  mali 
dolorque  fractus  cedet  Alcidae  tuo. 

DE'IANIRA 

Exedit  artus  virus  ut  fama  est  hydrae  ; 
immensa  pestis  coniugis  membra  abstulit. 

HYLLVS 

Serpentis  illi  virus  enectae  autumas 
haut  posse  vinci  qui  malum  vivum  tulit? 
elisit  hydram,  dente  cum  infixo  stetit l 
media  palude  victor,  effuso  obrutus 
artus  veneno.     sanguis  hunc  Nessi  opprimet,         920 
qui  vicit  ipsas  horridi  Nessi  manus  ? 

1  So  Peiper,  with  A  :  fcum  fixo  tenens  Leo,  with  E,  and 
conjectures  dum  in  fee  to  tumet :  Richter  conjectures  iam  infixo 
tumens. 

260 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

DEIANIRA 

Whoever  has  fallen  on  unkind  fates. 

HYLLUS 

But  Hercules  himself  slew  Megara,  pierced  by  his 
arrows,  and  his  own  sons  as  well,  shooting  Lernaean 
shafts  with  furious  hand  ;  still,  though  thrice  mur- 
derer, he  forgave  himself,  but  not  his  madness.  At 
the  source  of  Cinyps  'neath  Libyan  skies  he  washed 
away  his  guilt  and  cleansed  his  hands.  Whither, 
poor  soul,  dost  haste  thee  ?  Why  dost  condemn  thy 
hands  ? 

DEI' AN  1 11  A 

'Tis  Alcides'  overthrow  that  doth  condemn  my 
hands.  'Tis  well  to  punish  crime. 

HYLLUS 

If  I  know  Hercules,  he  will  soon  be  here,  per- 
chance victorious  o'er  the  cruel  plague ;  and  pain, 
subdued,  will  yield  to  thy  Alcides. 

DEIANIRA 

The  hydra's  poison,  as  report  declares,  hath  con- 
sumed his  frame ;  the  deadly  plague  hath  wasted  his 
giant  limbs. 

HYLLUS 

Thinkst  thou  the  poison  of  a  serpent,  slain,  cannot 
be  overcome  by  him  who  met  and  overcame  the 
monster,  living?  He  crushed  the  hydra,  and  deep 
in  the  marsh,  with  the  fangs  fixed  in  his  flesh,  he 
stood  victorious,  while  his  limbs  were  bathed  in 
venom.  Shall  Nessus'  blood  destroy  the  man  who 
overcame  e'en  the  hands  of  savage  Nessus? 


26] 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

DEIANIRA 

Frustra  tenetur  ille  qui  statuit  mori ; 
proinde  lucem  fugere  decretum  est  mihi. 
vixit  satis  quicumque  cum  Alcide  occidit. 

NVTRIX 

Per  has  aniles  ecce  te  supplex  comas 
atque  ubera  ista  paene  materna  obsecro : 
depone  tumidas  pectoris  laesi  minas 
mortisque  dirae  expelle  decretum  horridum. 

DEIANIRA 

Quicumque  misero  forte  dissuadet  mori, 
crudelis  ille  est  ;  interim  poena  est  mori,  930 

sed  saepe  donum ;  pluribus  veniae  fuit. 

NVTRIX 

Defende  saltern  dexteram,  infelix,  tuam 
fraudisque  facinus  esse,  non  nuptae,  sciat. 

DEIANIRA 

Defendar  illic  ;  inferi  absolvent  ream, 
a  me  ij>sa  damnor ;  purget  has  Pluton  manus. 
stabo  ante  ripas  immemor,  Lethe,  tuas 
et  umbra  tristis  coniugem  excipiam  meum. 

Sed  tu,  nigrantis  regna  qui  torques  poli, 
para  laborem  (scelera  quae  quisquam  ausus  est, 
hie  vincet  error  ;  luno  non  ausa  Herculem  est      940 
eripere  terris)  horridam  poenam  para. 
Sisyphia  cervix  cesset  et  nostros  lapis 


262 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

DEIANIRA 

Vainly  is  he  restrained  who  is  bent  on  death ;  my 
will  is  fixed  straightway  to  flee  the  light.  Whoever 
has  died  with  Hercules  has  lived  enough. 

NURSE 

Lo,  by  these  aged  locks  and  by  these  breasts 
which  were  almost  as  a  mother's  to  thee,  I  humbly 
pray ;  put  by  the  wild  threatenings  of  thy  wounded 
heart,  and  banish  thy  dread  resolve  of  cruel  death. 

DEIANIRA 

Whoever,  perchance,  dissuades  the  wretched  from 
death,  he  is  the  cruel  one ;  sometimes  death  is  a 
punishment,  but  often  'tis  a  boon,  and  to  many  a 
way  of  pardon  has  it  proved. 

NURSE 

At  least  absolve  thy  hand,  unhappy  one,  that  he 
may  know  that  the  deed  was  a  treacherous  foeman's, 
not  his  wife's. 

DEIANIRA 

There1  shall  I  be  absolved;  the  lower  gods  will 
acquit  the  criminal,  though  I  condemn  myself.  Let 
Pluto  cleanse  these  hands.  Upon  thy  banks,  O 
Lethe,  shall  I  stand,  the  past  forgotten,  and  my 
grieving  shade  will  welcome  its  lord  again. 

938  But  do  thou,  who  torturest  the  realms  of  the  dark 
under-world,  prepare  a  toil — for  this  fault  of  mine 
outweighs  all  sins  that  man  has  ever  dared;  Juno 
was  never  bold  enough  to  rob  the  world  of  Hercules 
— some  dreadful  toil  prepare.  Let  Sisyphus'  neck 

1  In  the  lower  world. 

263 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OB'   SENECA 

impellat  umeros  ;  me  vagus  fugiat  latex 
meamque  fallax  unda  deludat  sitim. 
merui  manus  praebere  turbinibus  tuis, 
quaecumque  regem  Thessalum  torques  rota; 
effodiat  avidus  hinc  et  hinc  vultur  fibras. 
vacat l  una  Danais,  has  ego  explebo  vices — 
laxate  manes,      recipe  me  comitem  tibi, 
Phasiaca  coniunx  ;  peior  haec,  peior  tuo  950 

utroque  dextra  est  scelere,  seu  mater  nocens 
seu  dira  soror  es ;  adde  me  comitem  tuis, 
Threicia  coniunx,  sceleribus  ;  natam  tuam, 
Althaea  mater,  recipe,  nunc  veram  tui 
agnosce  prolem — quid  tamen  tantum  manus 
vestrae  abstulerunt?     claudite  Elvsium  mihi 

J 

quaecumque  fidae  coniuges  nemoris  sacri 

lucos  tenetis  ;  si  qua  respersit  manus 

viri  cruore  nee  memor  castae  facis 

stricto  cruenta  Belias  ferro  stetit,  9^0 

in  me  suas  agnoscat  et  laudet  manus. 

in  hanc  abire  coniugum  turbam  libet — 

sed  et  ilia  fugiet  turba  tarn  diras  manus. 

Invicte  coniunx,  innocens  animus  mihi, 
scelesta  manus  est.     pro  nimis  mens  credula  ! 
pro  Nesse  fallax  atque  semiferi  doli! 
auferre  cupiens  paelici  eripui  mihi. 
recede,  Titan,  tuque  quae  blanda  tenes 
in  luce  miseros  vita  ;  caritura  Hercule 
lux  vilis  ista  est.     exigam  poenas  tibi  970 

reddamque  vitam — fata  an  extendo  mea 
mortenlique,  coniunx,  ad  tuas  servo  manus  \ 

1  So  Richter .  Leo  vacet,  with  «,  corrected  by  Raphding, 

1  The  punishment  of  Tantalus. 

2  Ixion.  8  Hypermnestra. 
4  Medea.           *  Procue. 

264 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

be  eased  and  let  his  rock  press  hard  upon  my  shoul- 
ders ;  let  the  inconstant  water  fly  my  lips,  my  thirst 
let  the  elusive  waves  deceive.1  Unto  thy  whirlings 
have  I  deserved  to  give  my  hands,  whatsoe'er  wheel 
thou  art  which  rackest  Thessalia's  king  ;  2  from  every 
side  let  the  greedy  vulture  tear  my  entrails  out.  There 
still  lacks  one 3  from  the  Danaides ;  I  will  fill  up 
their  number — ye  ghosts  make  room  for  me.  Take 
me  as  thy  companion,  O  Phasian  wife;4  my  deed  is 
worse,  far  worse  than  both  thy  crimes,  whether  as 
mother  or  as  cruel  sister  thou  hast  sinned  ;  let  me  be 
comrade  also  to  thy  crimes,  thou  Thracian  wife;5 
Althea,  mother,6  welcome  thy  daughter,  now  recog- 
nize in  me  thine  own  true  child — yet  what  crime  so 
great  have  your  hands  ever  done  ?  Shut  Elysium 
against  me,  O  all  ye  faithful  wives  who  have  your 
dwelling  in  its  sacred  grove;  but  if  any  has  be- 
spattered her  hands  with  her  husband's  blood  and 
her  chaste  marriage  torch  forgot,  has  stood  with 
drawn  sword  like  Belus'  bloody  child,  in  me  let  her 
recognize  and  praise  her  own  handiwork.  To  such 
a  company  of  wives  'tis  well  to  pass — but  e'en  that 
company  will  shun  hands  so  accursed. 

964  O  my  unconquered  husband,  my  soul  is  inno- 
cent, though  my  hands  have  sinned.  O  mind  too 
credulous!  O  Nessus,  false  and  of  half-bestial 
guile  !  Striving  to  snatch  him  from  a  concubine,  I 
have  snatched  him  from  myself.  Away  !  thou  sun, 
and  life,  who  by  thy  cozening  arts  dost  keep  the 
unhappy  in  the  light  of  day ;  worthless  that  light 
without  my  Hercules.  I  will  exact  penalty  for  thee,7 
will  give  up  my  life — or  shall  I  put  off  my  fate,  O 
husband,  and  save  myself  for  death  at  thine  own 

6  For  Althaea's  crime  see  Index. 

7  i.e.  will  see  that  he  is  avenged. 

26.5 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

virtusne  superest  aliqua  et  armatae  manus 

intendere  arcum  tela  missurum  valent  ? 

an  arma  cessant  teque  languenti  manu 

non  audit  arcus  ?     si  potes  letum  dare, 

animose  coniunx,  dexteram  expecto  tuam. 

mors  differatur  ;  frange  ut  insontem  Lichan, 

alias  in  urbes  sparge  et  ignotum  tibi 

inmitte  in  orbem.     perde  ut  Arcadiae  nefas  980 

et  quidquid  aliud  cessit l  ;  ab  illis  tamen, 

coniunx,  redisti. 

HYLLVS 

Parce  iam,  mater,  precor, 
ignosce  fatis  ;  error  a  culpa  vacat. 

DEIANIRA 

Si  vera  pietas,  Hylle,  quaerenda  est  tibi, 
iam  perime  matrem — trepida  quid  tremuit  manus  ? 
quid  ora  flectis  ?     hoc  erit  pietas  scelus. 
ignave  dubitas  ?     Herculem  eripuit  tibi 
haec,  haec  peremit  dextra  cui  debes  patri 
avum  Tonantem.     maius  eripui  decus, 
quam  in  luce  tribui.     si  tibi  ignotum  est  nefas,      990 
a  matre  disce.     seu  tibi  iugulo  placet 
mersisse  ferrum  sive  maternum  libet 
invadere  uterum,  mater  intrepidum  tibi 
praebebit  animum.     non  erit  tantum  scelus 
a  te  peractum  ;  dextera  sternar  tua, 
sed  mente  nostra.     natus  Alcidae,  times  ? 
ita  nulla  perages  iussa  nee  franges  mala  2 

1  fcessit  Leo,  with  E :  restitit  A. 

3  Line  90S,  omitted  by  Et  deleted  by  Leo:  erres  por  orbem. 
si  qua  nascetur  fera. 

266 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

hands  ?  Hast  still  some  strength,  and  can  thy 
armed  hands  still  bend  the  bow  and  send  the  arrow 
darting  ?  Or  do  thy  weapons  fail  thee,  and  does  thy 
bow  no  more  heed  thy  enfeebled  hand  ?  If  thou 
canst  deal  destruction,  O  undaunted  husband,  I 
await  thy  stroke.  Let  death  be  stayed  awhile l ; 
crush  me  as  thou  didst  the  unoffending  Lichas  ;  to 
other  cities  scatter  me,  yea,  hurl  me  to  a  world  to 
thee  unknown.  Destroy  me  as  thou  didst  the 
Arcadian  monster,2  and  whatever  else  succumbed  to 
thee ;  yet  from  them,  my  husband,  thou  didst 
return. 

HYLLUS 

Give  o'er  now,  mother,  I  beseech  thee,  pardon  thy 
fate ;  an  error  is  not  counted  as  a  crime. 

DEIANIRA 

If,  Hyllus,  thou  wouldst  be  truly  filial,  come,  slay 
thy  mother — why  does  thy  hand  quake  and  tremble? 
Why  turnst  thy  face  away  ?  This  crime  will  be 
filial  piety.  Tamely  dost  hesitate  ?  This  hand 
robbed  thee  of  Hercules,  yea,  this  right  hand 
destroyed  him  to  whom  as  father  thou  owest  descent 
from  Jove.  Of  greater  glory  have  I  robbed  thee 
than  I  gave  thee  at  thy  birth.  If  thou  art  un- 
skilled in  monstrous  crime,  learn  from  thy  mother. 
Whether  in  my  throat  it  pleases  thee  to  plunge  the 
sword,  or  'tis  thy  will  to  assail  thy  mother's  womb, 
thy  mother  herself  will  give  thee  unshrinking 
courage.  Not  by  thee  will  this  dreadful  crime  be 
done ;  by  thy  hand,  truly,  shall  I  fall,  but  by  my 
will.  Son  of  Alcides,  art  afraid  ?  Wilt  thou  not  do 
as  bidden,  wilt  not  crush  monsters,  and  so  be  like 

1  i.e.  until  she  may  die  at  her  husband's  hands. 
a  The  Erymanthian  boar,  Hercules'  fourth  labour. 

267 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

referens  parentem  ?     dexteram  intrepidam  para.  999 
patet  ecce  plenum  pectus  aerumnis  :  feri ;  1000 

scelus  remitto,  dexterae  parcent  tuae 
Eumenides  ipsae — verberum  crepuit  sonus. 

Quaenam  ista  torquens  angue  vipereo  l  comam 
temporibus  atras  2  squalidis  pinnas  quatit  ? 
quid  me  flagrant!  dira  persequeris  face, 
Megaera  ?     poenas  poscis  Alcidae  ?     dabo. 
iamne  inferorum,  dira,  sedere  arbitri  ? 
sedent.    reclusas  3  carceris  video  fores, 
quis  iste  saxum  immane  detritis  gerit 
iam  senior  umeris  ?     ecce  iam  victus  lapis  1010 

quaerit  relabi  ?     membra  quis  quatitur  rota  ? 
hie  ecce  pallens  dira  Tisiphone  stetit, 
causam  reposcit.     parce  verberibus  precor, 
Megaera,  parce,  sustine  Stygias  faces ; 
scelus  est  amoris. 

Sed  quid  hoc  ?     tellus  labat 
et  aula  tectis  crepuit  excussis — minax 
unde  iste  coetus  ?     totus  in  voltus  meos 
decurrit  orbis,  hinc  et  hinc  populi  fremunt 
totusque  poscit  vindicem  mundus  suum. 
iam  parcite,  urbes.  quo  fugam  praeceps  agam  ?    1020 
mors  sola  portus  dabitur  aerumnis  meis. 
tester  nitentis  flammeam  Phoebi  rotam 
superosque  testor  :  Herculem  in  terris  adhuc 
moritura  linquo. 

1  fangue  vipereo  Leo:  angui  E:  igne  N.  Heimius :  angue 
vibrato  Peiper. 

268 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

thy  sire  ?  Thy  dauntless  hand  make  ready.  Behold 
my  breast,  so  full  of  cares,  lies  open  :  smite ;  I 
forgive  the  deed,  the  Eumenides  themselves  will 
acquit  thy  hand — but  I  hear  their  scourges  hissing. 

iocs  oh,  who  is  that  in  whose  locks  viperous 
serpents  coil,  who  brandishes  deadly  shafts  at  her 
foul  temples?  Why  dost  pursue  me,  awful  Megaera, 
with  blazing  torch  ?  Penalty  for  Alcides'  murder 
dost  demand  ?  I'll  pay.  Already,  dread  one,  have 
the  arbiters  of  hell  passed  judgment  on  me?  They 
have.  I  see  the  prison  doors  opened  wide.  Who  is 
that  ancient1  who  bears  a  huge  stone  on  his  toil-worn 
back  ?  But  see  !  already  does  the  mastered  stone 
seek  to  roll  back  again  ?  Whose 2  limbs  on  the 
wheel  are  racked  ?  Look !  here  has  Tisiphone 
taken  her  stand,  ghastly  and  dread ;  she  demands 
revenge.  Oh,  spare  thy  scourge,  I  pray  thee, 
Megaera,  spare  !  Keep  back  the  Stygian  torches  ; 
mine  was  the  crime  of  love. 

1015  But  what  is  this  ?  The  earth  quakes,  the 
palace  resounds  with  the  noise  of  crashing  roofs— 
whence  comes  that  threatening  throng?  The  whole 
world  comes  rushing  'gainst  me,  on  every  side  the 
nations  rage  and  the  whole  universe  demands  of  me 
its  saviour.  Oh,  spare  me  now,  ye  cities.  Whither 
shall  I  rush  in  headlong  flight?  Death  alone  will 
be  granted  as  a  haven  for  my  cares.  By  gleaming 
Phoebus'  flaming  car  I  swear,  I  swear  by  the 
heavenly  gods :  though  to  my  death  I  go,  I  leave 
Alcides  still  upon  the  earth. 

[She  rushes  wildly  from  the  scene.] 
1  Sisyphus.  2  Ixion. 

•  So  A  :  Leo  fhastas,  with  E  :  Madvig  aptas. 
3  So  Richter :  Leo,  with  A,  fsed  ecce  diras. 


269 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

HYLLVS 

Fugit  attonita,  ei  mihi. 
peracta  iam  pars  matris  est — statuit  mori ; 
nunc  nostra  superest,  mortis  auferre  impetum. 
o  misera  pietas  !  si  mori  matrem  vetas, 
patri  es  scelestus ;  si  mori  patens,  tamen 
in  matre  peccas.     urget  hinc  illinc  scelus. 
inhibenda  tamen  est,  verum  ut  eripiam  scelus.     1030 

CHORVS 

Verum  est  quod  cecinit  sacer 
Thressae  sub  Khodopes  iugis 
aptans  Pieriam  chelyn 
Orj)heus  Calliopae  genus, 
aeternum  fieri  nihil. 
ill i us  stetit  ad  modos 
torrentis  rapidi  fragor, 
oblitusque  sequi  fugam 
amisit  liquor  impetum ; 
et  dum  fluminibus  mora  est,  101-0 

defecisse  putant  Getae 
Hebrum  Bistones  ultimi. 
advexit  volucrem  nemus 
et  silva  residens  venit ; 
aut  si  qua  aera  pervolat, 
auditis  vaga  cantibus 
ales  deficiens  cadit. 
abrumpit  scopulos  Athos 
Centauros  obiter  ferens 
et  iuxta  Rhodopen  stetit  1050 

laxata  nive  cantibus ; 
et  quercum  fugiens  suam 
ad  vatem  properat  Dryas 
ad  cantus  veniunt  tuos 

270 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

HYLLUS 

Ah  me !  in  frenzy  has  she  fled.  Already  has  my 
mother  played  her  part — she  has  resolved  on  death  ; 
now  does  my  part  remain,  to  thwart  her  deadly 
purpose.  O  wretched  plight  of  love !  if  thou 
forbidst  thy  mother's  death,  thou  wrongst  thy  father  ; 
if  thou  sufferest  her  to  die,  still  'gainst  thy  mother 
dost  thou  sin.  Crime  drives  from  either  hand  ;  still 
must  I  check  her,  that  from  true  l  crime  she  may  be 
saved.  [Exit  after  his  mother.] 

CHORUS 

True  sang  the  bard  beneath  the  heights  of 
Thracian  Rhodope,  fitting  the  word  to  his  Pierian 
lyre,  e'en  Orpheus,  Calliope's  blest  son,  that  naught 
for  endless  life  is  made.  At  his  sweet  strains  the 
rushing  torrents'  roar  was  stilled,  and,  forgetful  of 
their  eager  flight,  the  waters  ceased  their  flow ; 
and,  while  the  river  stayed  to  hear,  the  far 
Bistonians  thought  their  Hebrus  had  failed  the 
Getan.  The  woods  came  with  their  birds  to  him, 
yea,  perched  among  the  trees  they  came  ;  or  if,  in 
the  high  air  soaring,  some  wandering  bird  caught 
sound  of  the  charming  song,  his  drooping  wings  sank 
earthward.  Athos  broke  off  his  crags,  bringing  the 
Centaurs  as  he  came,  and  next  to  Rhodope  he 
stood,  his  snows  melted  by  the  music ;  the  Dryad, 
leaving  her  oaken  haunts,  sped  to  the  singer's 
side.  To  hear  thy  song,  with  their  very  lairs  the 

1  i.e.  the  true  crime  of  her  own  death  as  contrasted  with 
the  fancied  crime  of  her  act  against  Hercules. 

271 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ipsis  cum  latebris  ferae, 

iuxtaque  inpavidum  pecus 

sedit  Marmaricus  leo 

nee  dammae  trepidant  lupos 

et  serpens  latebras  fugit, 

tune  oblita  veneni.  1060 

Quin  per  Taenarias  fores 
manes  cum  tacitos  adit 
maerentem  feriens  chelyn, 
cantu  Tartara  flebili 
et  tristes  Erebi  deos 
vicit  nee  timuit  Stygis 
iuratos  superis  lacus. 
haesit  non  stabilis  rota 
victo  languida  turbine  ; 

increvit  Tityi  iecur,  1070 

dum  cantu  volucres  tenet;  1071 

et  vinci  lapis  improbus  1081 

et  vatem  potuit  sequi.1  1082 

tune  primum  Phrygius  senex  1075 

undis  stantibus  immemor 
excussit  rabidam  sitim 

nee  pomis  adhibet  manus.  1078 

audis  tu  2  quoque,  navita;  1072 

inferni  ratis  aequoris  1073 

nullo  remigio  venit.  1074 

sic  cum  vinceret  inferos  1079 

Orpheus  carmine  funditus,  1080 

consumptos  iterum  deae  1083 

supplent  Eurydices  colus.  1084 

sed  dum  respicit  immemor 

1  The  arrangement  of  lines  1070-1084  as  they  stand  in  Leo 
(he  A/SS.    is  more  or  lestt  i//ot/i<-al,  besides  presenting 


syntactic  dificidtita.     The  rc-arrangemeid  of  Richter  has  been 
adojit&d  here, 

272 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

wild  beasts  came,  and  close  to  the  fearless  herds  the 
Marmaric  lion  crouched ;  does  felt  no  fear  of  wolves, 
and  the  serpent  fled  her  gloomy  den,  her  venom  at 
last  forgot. 

1061  Nay,  when  through  the  gates  Taenarian  to  the 
silent  ghosts  he  came,  smiting  his  mournful  lyre, 
with  his  sad  song  he  conquered  Tartarus  and  the 
sullen  gods  of  Erebus ;  nor  was  he  daunted  by  the 
pools  of  Styx,  by  which  the  high  gods  swear.  The 
never  staying  wheel l  stood  still,  listless,  with 
conquered  whirling ;  the  liver  of  Tityus  grew, 
undevoured,  while  spell-bound  the  singer  held  the 
birds.  The  impish  stone 2  allowed  defeat  and 
attended  on  the  bard.  Then  first  the  aged  Phrygian,3 
though  the  waves  stood  still,  banished  his  raging 
thirst,  forgetful  quite,  nor  to  the  apples  stretched 
his  hand.  Thou  also,  ferryman,4  didst  hear,  and  thy 
boat  that  plies  the  infernal  sea  came  oarless  on. 
So  when  by  his  song  Orpheus  had  utterly  o'ercome 
the  infernal  gods,  then  did  the  goddesses5  renew 
again  Eury  dice's  exhausted  thread.  But  while 
Orpheus  thoughtlessly  looked  back,  all  unbelieving 

1  On  which  Ixion  was  bound. 

2  Which  Sisyphus  was  rolling. 

3  Tantalus.  4  Charon. 

6  i.e.  the  fatal  sisters,  the  Parcae. 

3  So  Birt'a  emendation  of  the  impossible  MSS.  rending  audito 
qnoque  :  Richter's  auditum  quoque  is  also  impossible. 

273 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

nee  credens  sibi  redditam 
Orpheus  Eurydicen  sequi, 
cantus  praemia  perdidit ; 
quae  nata  est  iterum  perit. 

Tune,  solamina  cantibus  1090 

quaerens,  flebilibus  modis 
1  haec  Orpheus  cecinit  Getis : 
leges  in  superos  datas, 
et  qui  tempora  digerit 
quattuor  praecipites  deus 
anni  disposuit  vices 
nulH  non  avidi  colus 
Parcas  stamina  nectere, 
quod  natum  est,  quod  erit,  raori2 

Vati  credere  Thracio  1100 

devictus  iubet  Hercules, 
iam,  iam  legibus  obrutis 
mundo  cum  veniet  dies, 
australis  polus  obruet 
quidquid  per  Libyam  iacet 
et  sparsus  Garamas  tenet ; 
arctous  polus  obruet 
quidquid  subiacet  axibus 
et  siccus  Boreas  ferit. 

amisso  trepidus  polo  1 1  ]  0 

Titan  excutiet  diem, 
caeli  regia  concidens 
ortus  atque  obitus  trahet 
atque  omnes  pariter  deos 
perdet  mors  aliqua  et  chaos, 
et  mors  fata  novissima 
in  se  constituet  sibi. 
quis  mundum  capiet  locus  ? 

1  Leo  is  of  the  opinion  that  the  beginning  and  the  end  of 
Orpheus'  song  have  fallen  out,  and  that  lines  1097-1099  are  to 

274 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

his  Eurydice  restored  to  him  and  following,  he  lost 
his  singing's  recompense  ;  and  she  had  come  to  the 
verge  of  life  only  to  die  once  more. 

1090  Then,  solace  in  song  still  seeking,  in  mournful 
measures  Orpheus  thus  to  the  Getans  sang :  that  the 
gods  are  under  law,  e'en  he  who  rules  the  seasons, 
who  has  arranged  the  four  changes  of  the  flying 
year ;  that  for  no  one  the  Parcae  spin  again  the 
threads  of  the  greedy  distaff,  and  that  all  which  has 
been  and  shall  be  born  shall  die.1 

1100  The  overthrow  of  Hercules  bids  us  believe  the 
Thracian  bard.  Soon,  soon,  when  to  the  universe 
shall  come  the  day  that  law  shall  be  o'erwhelmed, 
the  southern  skies  shall  fall  upon  Libya's  plains  and 
all  that  the  scattered  Garamantians  possess ;  the 
northern  heavens  shall  overwhelm  all  that  lies 
beneath  the  pole  and  that  Boreas  smites  with 
withering  blasts.  Then  from  the  lost  sky  the 
affrighted  sun  shall  fall  and  banish  day.  The  palace 
of  heaven  shall  sink,  dragging  down  East  and  West, 
and  death  in  some  form  and  chaos  shall  o'erwhelm 
all  gods  in  one  destruction ;  and  death  shall  at  last 
bring  doom  upon  itself.  What  place  will  then 
receive  the  world  ?  Will  the  gates  of  Tartarus 

1  Reading  according  to  the  arrangement  of  Richter.     See 
critical  note  a. 

be  joined  with  the  following  lines.  Richter  reads  1098-1099  as 
OrpheuS  song. 

2  fiichter  proposes  quod  natum  est,  poterit  mori. 

275 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

discedet  via  Tartar!, 

fractis  ut  pateat  polis  ?  1 120 

an  quod  dividit  aethera 

a  terris  spatium  sat  est 

et  mundi  nimium  malis  ? 

quis  tantum  capiet  (nefas) 

fatum,  quis  superos  locus  ? 

pontum  Tartara  sidera 

regna  unus  capiet  tria. 

Sed  quis  non  modicus  fragor 
aures  attonitas  mo  vet  ? 
est  est  Herculeus  sonus.  1130 

HERCVLES 

Converte,  Titan  clare,  anhelantes  equos, 
emitte  noctem  ;  pereat  hie  mundo  dies 
quo  morior,  atra  nube  inhorrescat  polus  ; 
obsta  novercae.     nunc,  pater,  caecum  chaos 
reddi  decebat,  hinc  et  hinc  compagibus 
ruptis  uterque  debuit  frangi  polus. 
quid  parcis  astris  ?      Herculem  amittis,  pater, 
nunc  partem  in  omnem,  luppiter,  specta  poli, 
ne  quis  Gyas  Thessalica  iaculetur  iuga 
et  fiat  Othrys  pondus  Encelado  leve.  114-0 

laxabit  atri  carceris  iam  iam  fores 
Pluton  superbus,  vincula  excutiet  patri 
caelumque  reddet.     ille  qui  pro  fulmine 
tuisque  facibus  natus  in  terris  eram, 
ad  Styga  revertor ;  surget  Enceladus  ferox 
mittetque  quo  nunc  premitur  in  superos  onus ; 
regnum  omne,  genitor,  aetheris  dubium  tibi 


1  Let  the  world  be  shrouded  in  darkness,  that  Juno  may 
not  see  the  death  of  Hercules. 

276 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

spread  wide,  that  room  for  the  shattered  heavens 
may  be  found  ?  Or  is  the  space  'twixt  heaven  and 
earth  great  enough  (perchance  too  great)  for  the 
evils  of  the  world  ?  What  place  will  be  great 
enough  to  hold  (oh,  horrible  !)  a  death  so  vast,  what 
place,  the  gods  ?  Sea,  Tartarus  and  heaven — three 
kingdoms  shall  one  place  contain. 

1128  But  what  outrageous  clamour  this  that  assails 
our  startled  ears?     It  is,  it  is  the  sound  of  Hercules. 

\Enter  HERCULES  in  Ike  extremity  of  suffering.] 


HERCULES 

Turn  back,  O  shining  Sun,  thy  panting  steeds,  and 
let  loose  the  night ;  let  this  day  wherein  I  die  perish 
for  the  world,  and  let  heaven  shudder  in  the  pitchy 
dark.  So  thwart l  my  stepdame.  Now,  father,  were 
it  fitting  to  restore  blind  chaos  ;  now  this  side  and 
that  should  heaven's  frame  be  burst  and  both  poles 
rent  asunder.  Why  dost  thou  spare  the  stars  ? 
Thou  art  losing  Hercules,  O  father.  Now,  Jupiter, 
look  well  to  every  part  of  heaven,  lest  any  Gyas 
hurl  Thessalian  crags  and  Othrys  become  a  slight 
missile  for  Enceladus.2  Now,  now  will  haughty 
Pluto  open  his  dark  prison  gates,  strike  off  his 
father's 3  chains  and  give  him  back  to  heaven. 
Since  I  thy  son,  who  on  earth  have  been  in  place  of 
thy  bolt  and  lightning  flash,  am  turning  me  back  to 
Styx,  Enceladus,  the  fierce,  will  rise,  and  the  mass 
'neath  which  he  now  is  crushed  will  he  hurl  against 
the  gods  ;  yea,  father,  thy  whole  realm  of  air  will 
my  death  put  to  hazard.  Then  ere  thou  art  utterly 

2  The   reference  is  to   the  former  battle  of  the  Giants 
against  Jupiter,     See  Index  s.v.  "Giants." 
s  Saturn. 

277 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

mors  nostra  faciet.     antequam  spolium  tui l 

caelum  omne  fiat,  conde  me  tota,  pater, 

mundi  ruina,  frange  quern  perdis  polum.  1150 

CHORVS 

Non  vana  times,  nate  Tonantis. 
mine  Thessalicam  Pelion  Ossam 
premet  et  Pindo  congestus  Athos 
nemus  aetheriis  inseret  astris ; 
vincet  scopulos  inde  Typhoeus 
et  Tyrrhenam  feret  Inarimen ; 
feret  Aetnaeos  inde  caminos 
scindetque  latus  mentis  aperti 
nondum  Enceladus  fulmine  victus. 
iam  te  caeli  regna  secuntur.2  1160 

HERCVLES 

Ego  qui  relicta  morte,  contempta  Styge 
per  media  Lethes  stagna  cum  spolio  redi 
quo  paene  lapsis  excidit  Titan  equis, 
ego  quern  deorum  regna  senserunt  tria, 
morior ;  nee  ullus  per  meum  stridet  latus 
transmissus  ensis,  haut  meae  telum  necis  8 
est  totus  Othrys,  non  truci  rictu  gigans  1 168 

Pindo  cadaver  obruit  toto  meum : 
sine  hoste  vincor,  quodque  me  torquet  magis       1170 
(o  misera  virtus  !)  summus  Alcidae  dies 
nullum  malum  prosternit ;  inpendo,  ei  mihi, 
in  nulla  vitam  facta. 

Pro  mundi  arbiter 

superique  quondam  dexterae  testes  meae, 
pro  cuncta  tellus,  Herculem  vestrum  placet 

1  tibi  E.  2  signa  sequentur  A. 

3  Leo  deletes  line  1167,  saxuni  est  nee  icstar  mentis  abrupti 
latus. 

278 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

despoiled  of  heaven,  bury  me,  father,  'neath  the 
whole  ruined  world ;  shatter  the  skies  which  thou  art 
doomed  to  lose. 


CHORUS 


Not  vain  thy  fears,  son  of  the  Thunderer.  Soon 
now  shall  Pelion  weigh  down  Thessalian  Ossa,  and 
Athos,  on  Pindus  heaped,  shall  thrust  his  forests 
midst  the  heavenly  stars ;  then  shall  Typhoeus 
overcome  the  crags  l  and  upheave  Tuscan  Inarime  ; 
the  Aetnean  furnaces  then  shall  Enceladus  upheave, 
not  yet  by  thy  bolt  o'ercome,  and  rend  the  gaping 
mountain's  side.  E'en  now  the  kingdoms  of  the  sky 
are  following  thee.2 


HERCULES 


Lo  I,  who  have  escaped  from  death,  who  scorned 
the  Styx,  who  through  the  midst  of  Lethe's  pool 
have  returned  with  spoil,3  at  sight  whereof  Titan 
was  almost  flung  from  his  falling  car,  I,  whose 
presence  three  realms  of  gods  have  felt,  am  perishing. 
No  deep-thrust  sword  grates  through  my  side,  nor  is 
all  Othrys  the  instrument  of  my  death  ;  no  giant 
with  fierce  and  gaping  jaws  has  buried  my  body 
beneath  the  whole  of  Pindus  ;  no,  without  enemy 
am  I  overcome  and,  thought  which  racks  me  more, 
(shame  to  my  manhood  !)  the  last  day  of  Alcides  has 
seen  no  monster  slain.  Ah,  woe  is  me !  I  am 
squandering  my  life  for  no  return. 

1173  O  thou  ruler  of  the  world,  ye  gods,  once 
witnesses  of  my  deeds,  O  earth  entire,  is  it  resolved 

1  Beneath  which  he  is  buried. 

8  i.e.  Jupiter  is  falling  and  his  kingdom  with  him. 

8  Cerberus. 

279 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

morte  hac  perire  ?  l     dirus  o  nobis  pudor, 

o  turpe  fatum — femina  Herculeae  necis 

auctor  feretur  !     morior  Alcides  quibus  ? 

invicta  si  me  cadere  feminea  manu 

voluere  fata  perque  tarn  turpes  colus  1180 

mea  mors  cucurrit,  cadere  potuissem,  ei  mini, 

lunonis  odio.     feminae  caderem  manu, 

sed  caelum  habentis.     si  nimis,  superi,  fuit, 

Scythico  sub  axe  genita  domuisset  meas 

vires  Amazon,     feminae  cuius  manu 

lunonis  hostis  vincor  ?     hinc  gravior  tibi, 

noverca,  pudor  est.     quid  diem  hunc  laetum  vocas  ? 

quid  tale  tellus  genuit  iratae  tibi  ? 

mortalis  odia  femina  excessit  tua. 

adhuc  ferebas  esse  te  Alcidae  imparem  ;  1 190 

victa  es  duobus — pudeat  irarum  deos  ! 

utinam  meo  cruore  satiasset  suos 

Nemeaea  rictus  pestis  aut  centum  anguibus 

vallatus  hydram  tabe  pavissem  mea  ! 

utinam  fuissem  praeda  Centauris  datus 

aut  inter  umbras  vinctus  aeterno  miser 

saxo  sederem  !     spolia  nunc  traxi  ultima 

Fato  stupente,  nunc  ab  inferna  Styge 

lucem  recepi,  Ditis  evici  moras — 

ubique  mors  me  fugit,  ut  leto  inclitae  1200 

sortis  carerem.     pro  ferae,  victae  ferae  ! 

non  me  triformis  sole  conspecto  canis 

ad  Styga  revexit,  non  sub  Hesperio  polo 

Hibera  vicit  turba  pastoris  feri, 

1  So  N.  Heinsius :  fniorte  ferire  Leo,  with  E,  conjecturing 
inertem  obire  :  mortem  perire  A  :  perire  inertem  L.  M tiller. 

1  He  is  thinking  of  the  many  monsters,   beasts,  tyrants, 
whom  he  has  slain,  he  who  must  now  die  by  a  woman's  hand. 

2  i.e.  than  for  me. 

280 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

your  Hercules  should  perish  by  such  death  as  this  ? 
Oh,  cruel  shame  to  me,  oh,  end  most  foul — a  woman 
will  be  called  author  of  Alcides'  death  !  And  for 
whom1  is  Alcides  dying?  If  the  fates  unchanging 
have  willed  that  by  a  woman's  hand  1  fall,  if  through 
distaff  so  base  the  thread  of  my  death  has  run,  ah 
me  !  that  I  might  have  fallen  by  Juno's  hate  !  'Twould 
be  by  woman's  hand,  but  of  one  who  holds  the 
heavens.  If,  O  ye  gods,  that  were  too  much  to 
ask,  the  Amazon,  born  'neath  Scythian  skies,  might 
have  o'ercome  my  strength.  But  by  what  woman's 
hand  is  Juno's  foe  o'ercome  ?  This  is  for  thee,  my 
stepdame,  heavier2  shame.  Why  callest  thou  this 
day  joyful  ?  What  monster  such  as  this  has  earth 
produced  to  sate  thy  wrath3?  A  mortal  woman 
has  outdone  thy  hate.  Till  now  thou  deemdst 
thyself  by  Alcides  alone  outmatched  ;  by  two  hast 
thou  been  surpassed — of  such  wrath  let  heaven  be 
ashamed  !  Oh,  that  the  Nemean  lion  with  my  blood 
had  sated  his  gaping  jaws,  or  that,  hedged  by  a 
hundred  snakes,  I  had  fed  the  hydra  with  my  gore  ! 
O  that  I  had  been  given  to  the  Centaurs  as  a  prey, 
or  that  midst  the  shades  I,  bound  to  an  everlasting 
rock,  in  wretchedness  were  sitting !  But  now  have  I 
dragged  here  my  latest  spoil4  while  Death  looked 
on  amazed ;  now  from  infernal  Styx  have  I  regained 
the  light,  the  bars  of  Dis  I've  conquered — on  every 
hand  death  shunned  me,  that  I  might  lack  at  last 
a  glorious  end.  O  beasts,  O  conquered  beasts ! 
Neither  did  the  three-formed  dog,  when  he  saw  the 
sun,  drag  me  back  to  Styx,  nor  'neath  western  skies 
did  the  Spanish  rout  of  the  wild  shepherd  5  conquer 

8  He  counts  Deianira  as  worse  than  all  monsters  Juno  has 
sent  against  him.  She  has  outdone  even  Juno's  hate.  Hence 
Juno  is  put  to  shame.  4  Cerberus.  6  Geryon. 

281 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

non  gemma  serpens — perdidi  mortem,  ei  mihi, 
totiens  honestam  !     titulus  extremus  quis  est  ? 


CHORVS 

Viden  ut  laudis  conscia  virtus 
non  Lethaeos  horreat  amnes  ? 
pudet  auctoris,  non  morte  dolet ; 
cupit  extremum  finire  diem  1210 

vasta  tumidi  mole  gigantis 
et  montiferum  Titana  pati 
rabidaeque  necem  debere  ferae, 
sed  tua  causa  est,  miserande,  manus, 
quod  nulla  fera  est  nullusque  gigas  ; 
nam  quis  dignus  necis  Herculeae 
superest  auctor  nisi  dextra  tui  ? 

HERCVLES 

Heu  qualis  intus  scorpios,  quis  fervida 
plaga  revulsus  cancer  infixus  meas 
urit  medullas?     sanguinis  quondam  capax  1220 

tumidi  igne  cor  l  pulmonis  arentes  fibras 
distendit,  ardet  felle  siccato  iecur 
totumque  lentus  sanguinem  avexit  vapor, 
primam  cutem  consumpsit,  hinc  aditum  nefas 
in  membra  fecit,  abstulit  pestis  latus, 
exedit  artus  penitus  et  costas  malum, 
hausit  medullas,     ossibus  vacuis  sedet ; 
nee  ossa  durant  ipsa,  sed  compagibus 
discussa  ruptis  mole  conlapsa  fluunt. 
defecit  ingens  corpus  et  pesti  satis  1230 

Herculea  non  sunt  membra — pro  quantum  est  malum 
quod  esse  vastum  fateor,  o  dirum  nefas ! 

1  «S'o   Richter :    Leo,    tumidi    fiecur,    with   o>,    conjecturing 
tumet  igne  cor  :  tumidi  cor  en  N.  Heinaiue. 

282 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

me,  nor  the  twain  serpents  l — ah,  woe  is  me  !  how 
often  have  I  missed  a  glorious  death !  My  final 
claim  to  glory — what  is  it  ? 

CHORUS 

Seest  thou  how  virtue,  conscious  of  its  fame, 
shrinks  not  from  Lethe's  stream  ?  He  grieves  not 
at  death  but  blushes  for  its  cause  ;  he  longs  'neath 
some  towering  giant's  vasty  bulk  to  end  the  last 
day  of  life,  to  suffer  some  mountain-heaving  Titan's 
weight,  to  owe  his  death  to  some  wild,  raging  beast. 
But  no,  poor  soul,  because  of  thine  own  hand,  there 
is  no  beast,  no  giant ;  for  what  worthy  author  of 
the  death  of  Hercules  is  left  save  thy  right  hand  ? 

HERCULES 

Alas,  what  scorpion,2  what  crab,2  torn  from  the 
torrid  zone,  burns  deep  fixed  in  my  marrow?  My 
heart,  once  filled  with  pulsing  streams  of  blood, 
hotly  distends  the  parched  fibres  of  my  lungs  ;  my 
liver  glows,  its  bile  dried  quite  away,  and  a  slow  fire 
has  exhausted  all  my  blood.  First  did  the  dread 
plague  feed  upon  my  skin,  next  to  my  limbs  it 
passed,  devoured  my  sides,  then  deep-in  my  joints 
and  ribs  the  pest  ate  its  way,  and  drank  my  very 
marrow.  In  my  hollow  bones  it  lurks ;  nor  do  my 
bones  themselves  retain  their  hardness,  but,  shattered 
with  broken  structure,  fall  in  a  crumbling  mass.  My 
huge  frame  has  shrivelled,  and  even  the  limbs  of 
Hercules  sate  not  the  pest. — Oh,  how  mighty  the  ill 
which  I  admit  is  great !  Oh,  cruel  curse  !  Behold, 

1  Which  Juno  sent  against  him  in  his  infancy. 

2  Pestilent  creatures  from  among  the  constellations  of  the 
zodiac  (fervida  plaga). 

283 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

en  cernite,  urbes,  cernite  ex  illo  Hercule 

quid  iam  supersit.     Herculem  agnoscis,  pater? 

hisne  ego  lacertis  colla  Nemeaei  mail 

elisa  press!  ?     tensus  hac  arcus  manu 

astris  ab  ipsis  detulit  Stymphalidas  ? 

his  ego  citatam  gressibus  vici  feram 

radiante  clarum  fronte  gestantem  caput  ? 

his  fracta  Calpe  manibus  emisit  fretum?  1240 

his  tot  ferae,  tot  scelera,  tot  reges  iacent? 

his  mundus  umeris  sedit  ?     haec  moles  mea  est, 

haecne  ilia  cervix  ?     hasne  ego  opposui  manus 

caelo  ruenti  ?     quis  mea  custos  manu 

trahetur  ultra  Stygius  ?     ubi  vires  prius 

memet  sepultae  ?     quid  patrem  appello  lovem  ? 

quid  per  Tonantem  vindico  caelum  miser  ? 

iam,  iam  meus  credetur  Amphitryon  pater. 

Quaecumque  pestis  viscere  in  nostro  lates, 
procede — quid  me  vulnere  occulto  petis  ?  1250 

quis  te  sub  axe  frigido  pontus  Scythes, 
quae  pigra  Tethys  genuit  aut  Maurum  premens 
Hibera  Calpe  litus  ?     o  dirum  malum  ! 
utrumne  serpens  squalidum  crista  caput 
vibrans  an  aliquod  et  mihi  ignotum  malum, 
numquid  cruore  es  genita  JLernaeae  ferae 
an  te  reliquit  Stygius  in  terris  canis  ? 
omne  es  malum  nullumque — quis  voltus  tibi  est  ? 
concede  saltern  scire  quo  peream  malo. 
quaecumque  pestis  sive  quaecumque  es  fera,        1 260 


284 


' 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

ye  cities,  behold  what  now  remains  of  that  great 
Hercules.  Dost  recognize  thy  Hercules,  my  father? 
Was  it  with  these  arms  I  crushed  and  overwhelmed 
the  Nemean  plague?  Was  it  with  this  hand  I 
stretched  the  bow  that  brought  down  the  Stym- 
phalian  birds  from  the  very  stars  ?  With  these  feet 
did  I  o'ertake  the  swift-fleeing  beast l  with  golden 
antlers  gleaming  on  his  head  ?  By  these  hands 
shattered,  did  Calpe2  let  out  the  sea?  So  many 
beasts,  so  many  monstrous  things,  so  many  kings, 
have  these  hands  of  mine  brought  low  ?  Upon 
these  shoulders  did  the  heavens  rest  ?  Is  this  my 
massive  frame,  is  this  my  neck  ?  These  hands  did  I 
oppose  to  the  falling  sky  ?  What  Stygian  watch-dog 
will  hereafter  be  dragged  forth  by  my  hand  ? 
Where  are  my  powers,  buried  before  my  burial  ? 
Why  on  Jove  as  father  do  I  call  ?  Why,  wretched 
man,  by  right  of  the  Thunderer  do  I  claim  heaven  ? 
Now,  now  will  Amphitryon  be  deemed  my  sire. 

1249  O  pest,  whate'er  thou  art  that  lurkest  in  my 
vitals,  come  forth — why  dost  attack  me  with  a 
hidden  smart?  What  Scythian  Sea  beneath  the 
icy  pole,  what  sluggish  Tethys,  what  Spanish  Calpe, 
crowding  the  Moorish  coast,  begot  thee  ?  O  cursed 
bane  !  Art  thou  some  serpent,  brandishing  his  foul, 
full -crested  head,  or  some  evil  thing  even  to  me 
unknown  ?  Art  thou  begotten  of  the  Lernaean 
monster's3  gore,  or  did  the  Stygian  dog  leave  thee 
here  on  earth  ?  Every  ill  thou  art  and  yet  no  ill — 
what  form  hast  thou  ?  Grant  me  at  least  to  know 
by  what  ill  I  am  perishing.  Whatever  pest  or  what- 

1  The  Arcadian  stag. 

1  When  Hercules  rent  the  cliffs  of  Calpe  and  Abyla  (the 
pillars  of  Hercules)  asunder  and  gave  outlet  to  the  Mediter- 
ranean Sea.  *  The  hydra. 

285 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

palam  timere  !     quis  tibi  in  medias  locum 
fecit  medullas  ?     ecce  direpta  cute 
viscera  manus  detexit ;  ulterior  tamen 
inventa  latebra  est— o  malum  simile  Herculi  ! 

Unde  iste  fletus  ?     unde  in  has  lacrimae  genas  ? 
invictus  olim  voltus  et  numquam  malis 
lacrimas  suis  praebere  consuetus  (pudet) 
iam  flere  didicit.     quis  dies  fletum  Herculis, 
quae  terra  vidit  ?     siccus  aerumnas  tuli. 
tibi  ilia  virtus,  quae  tot  elisit  mala,  1270 

tibi  cessit  uni ;  prima  et  ante  omnes  mihi 
fletum  abstulisti ;  durior  saxo  horrido 
et  chalybe  voltus  et  vaga  Symplegade 
rictus  meos  infregit  et  lacrimam l  expulit.2 
flentem  gementem,  summe  pro  rector  poli, 
me  terra  vidit,  quodque  me  torquet  magis, 
noverca  vidit.     urit  ecce  iterum  fibras, 
incaluit  ardor — unde  nunc  fulmen  mihi  ? 

CHORVS 

Quid  non  possit  superare  dolor? 
quondam  Getico  durior  Haemo  1280 

nee  Parrhasio  lenior  axe 
saevo  cessit  membra  dolori 
fessumque  movens  per  colla  caput 
latus  alterno  pondere  flectit, 
fletum  virtus  saepe  resorbet. 
sic  arctoas  laxare  nives 
quamvis  tepido  sidere  Titan 
non  tamen  audet  vincitque  faces 
solis  adusti  glaciale  iubar. 

1  lacrimas  E.  2  extulit  A. 

286 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

ever  beast  thou  be,  oppose  me  openly !  Who  gave 
thee  place  within  my  inmost  marrow  ?  See,  my  hand 
has  ripped  away  the  skin  and  the  flesh  uncovered ; 
yet  deeper  still  must  its  lurking  place  be  found — O 
woe,  invincible  as  Hercules  ! 

1265  But  whence  this  lamentation  ?  Whence  tears 
upon  these  cheeks  ?  My  face,  before  unmoved,  and 
never  wont  to  express  its  woes  in  tears,  at  last  (oh, 
shame !)  has  learned  to  weep.  What  day,  what 
country  has  seen  the  tears  of  Hercules  ?  Dry-eyed 
have  I  borne  my  cares.  To  thee  *  that  strength, 
which  has  crushed  so  many  monsters,  to  thee  alone 
has  yielded  ;  thou  first  of  all  hast  forced  tears  from 
mine  eyes ;  my  face,  harder  than  rough  rock,  harder 
than  steel  and  the  wandering  Symplegades,  has  re- 
laxed my  visage  and  driven  forth  my  tears.  Me, 
weeping  and  groaning,  O  most  high  ruler  of  the 
heaven,  the  earth  has  seen  and,  thought  which 
racks  me  more,  my  step-dame  has  seen.  But  lo, 
again  the  scorching  heat  flames  up  and  burns  my 
vitals.  Oh,  where  is  the  lightning  flash  to  bring 
me  death  ? 

CHORUS 

What  may  not  suffering  overcome  ?  But  now, 
harder  than  Thracian  Haemus'  crags,  than  Par- 
rhasian  skies  more  calm,  to  dire  agony  has  he 
yielded  him ;  his  head  drops  wearily  upon  his  neck, 
from  side  to  side  he  turns  his  mighty  bulk  and  oft 
does  his  fortitude  drain  back  his  tears.  So,  with 
however  fervent  beam  he  shine,  Titan  avails  not  to 
melt  the  arctic  snows,  whose  icy  splendour  defies  the 
torches  of  the  burning  sun. 

1  Addressed  to  the  hidden  pest. 

287 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

HERCVLES 

Converte  voltus  ad  meas  clades,  pater.  1290 

numquam  ad  tuas  confugit  Alcides  manus, 
non  cum  per  artus  hydra  fecundum  meos 
caput  explicaret ;  inter  infernos  lacus 
possessus  atra  nocte  cum  Fato  steti 
nee  invocavi ;  tot  feras  vici  horridas, 
reges,  tyranhos,  nee  tamen  voltus  meos 
in  astra  torsi — semper  haec  nobis  manus 
votum  spopondit ;  nulla  propter  me  sacro 
micuere  caelo  fulmina — hie  aliquid  dies 
optare  iussit.     primus  audierit  preces  1300 

idemque  summus.     unicum  fulmen  peto  ; 
giganta  crede.     non  minus  caelum  mihi 
asserere  potui ;  dum  patrem  verum  puto, 
caelo  peperci.     sive  crudelis,  pater, 
sive  es  misericors,  commoda  nato  manum 
properante  morte  et  occupa  hanc  laudem  tibi. 

Vel  si  piget  man  usque  detrectat  nefas, 
emitte  Siculo  vertice  ardentes,  pater, 
Titanas  in  me,  qui  manu  Pindon  ferant 
aut  te,  Ossa,  qui  me  monte  proiecto  opprimant.1    1310 
abrumpat  Erebi  claustra,  me  stricto  petat 
Bellona  ferro  ;  mitte  Gradivum  trucem, 
armetur  in  me  dirus.     est  frater  quidem, 
sed  ex  noverca.     tu  quoque,  Alcidae  soror 
tantum  ex  parente,  cuspidem  in  fratrem  tuum 
iaculare,  Pallas,     supplices  tendo  manus 
ad  te,  noverca  :  sparge  tu  saltern,  precor, 

1  So  A  :  Madvig  aut  te,  Ossa,  quae  me  .  .  .  opprimat :  Leo 
taut  Ossa  qui  .  .  .  opprimat  with  E%  conjecturing  Ossamque 
ut  in  me  .  .  .  opprimar. 

288 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 


HERCULES 


O  father,  turn  thou  thine  eyes  on  my  calamity. 
Never  till  now  has  Alcides  fled  to  thee  for  aid,  not 
even  when  around  my  limbs  the  hydra  entwined  its 
fertile  heads.  Midst  the  infernal  pools,  by  the  black 
pall  of  night  enfolded,  1  stood  with  Death  nor  did  I 
call  upon  thee.  So  many  dreadful  beasts  have  I 
o'ercome,  yea  kings  and  tyrants ;  yet  have  I  ne'er 
lifted  my  face  unto  the  stars.  This  hand  of  mine 
has  ever  been  surety  for  my  prayers ;  no  bolts  for 
my  sake  have  flashed  from  the  sacred  sky — but  this 
day  has  bidden  me  ask  somewhat  of  thee.  'Tis  the 
first  to  hear  my  prayers,  'twill  be  the  last.  Just  one 
thunderbolt  I  ask  ;  count  me  a  giant.1  I  could  have 
laid  hands  on  heaven  no  less  than  they ;  but  while  I 
thought  thee  my  sire  in  very  truth,  I  spared  the 
skies.  Oh,  whether  thou  be  harsh,  my  sire,  or 
merciful,  lay  hands  on  thy  son  with  speedy  death 
and  claim  thee  this  great  renown.2 

isu7  Qr^  if  thy  hand  shrinks  reluctant  from  the 
impious  task,  'gainst  me  release  from  Aetna's  mount 
the  burning  Titans,  who  in  their  hands  may  heave 
Pindus  up,  or,  Ossa,  thee,  and  by  the  hurled  mountain 
overwhelm  me  quite.  Let  Bellona  burst  the  bars  of 
Erebus  and  with  drawn  sword  rush  upon  me  ;  or 
send  fierce  Mars  ;  let  the  dread  god  'gainst  me  be 
armed.  He  is  my  brother,  true,  but  of  my  step- 
dame  born.  Thou  too,  Alcides'  sister,  but  by  our 
sire  alone,  hurl  thy  spear,  O  Pallas,  against  thy 
brother  hurl.  And  to  thee,  my  step-dame,  do  I 
stretch  suppliant  hands ;  do  thou  at  least,  1  pray,  let 

1  Think  of  me  as  one  of  the  old  giants  storming  heaven,  and 
hurl  a  bolt  at  me. 
1  i.e.  of  killing  Hercules  ere  Juno  can  do  so. 

289 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

telum  (perire  feminae  possum  manu) 

iam  fracta,  iam  satiata,  quid  pascis  minas  ? 

quid  quaeris  ultra  ?     supplicem  Alciden  vides,     1320 

et  nulla  tellus,  nulla  me  vidit  fera 

te  deprecantem.     nunc  mihi  irata  quidem 1 

opus  est  noverca — nunc  tuus  cessat  dolor  ? 

nunc  odia  ponis  ?     parcis  ubi  votum  est  mori. 

o  terra  et  urbes,  non  facem  quisquam  Herculi, 

non  arma  tradet  ?     tela  subtrahitis  mihi  ? 

ita  nulla  saevas  terra  concipiat  feras 

post  me  sepultum  nee  meas  umquam  manus 

imploret  orbis  ;  si  qua  nascentur  mala, 

nascatur  ultor.2     undique  infelix  caput  1330 

mactate  saxis,  vincite  aerumnas  meas. 

ingrate  cessas  orbis  ?     excidimus  tibi  ? 

adhuc  malis  ferisque  suppositus  fores, 

ni  me  tulisses.     vindicem  vestrum  malis 

eripite,  populi ;  tempus  hoc  vobis  datur 

pensare  merita — mors  erit  pretium  omnium. 


ALCMENA 

Quas  misera  terras  mater  Alcidae  petam  ? 
ubi  natus,  ubinam  ?     certa  si  visus  notat, 
reclinis  ecce  corde  anhelante  aestuat ; 
gemit ;  peractum  est.   membra  conplecti  ultima,   1340 
o  nate,  liceat,  spiritus  fugiens  meo 
legatur  ore  ;  bracchia,  amplexus  cape — 
ubi  membra  sunt?     ubi  ilia  quae  mundum  tulit 
stelligera  cervix  ?     quis  tibi  exiguam  tui 
partem  reliquit  ? 

1  So  A  :  f  pater  Leo  with  E,  conjecturing  ac  fera. 

2  So  Richter :  nascatur  alius  A:  nascetur  odium  E:  Leo 
conjectures  nascatur  opifer. 

290 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

fly  thy  bolt  (I  brook  to  perish  by  a  woman's  hand)  ; 
oh,  at  last  yielding,  at  last  glutted,  why  still  feed  thy 
vengeance  ?  What  seekest  thou  further  ?  Thou 
seest  Alcides  suppliant ;  whereas  no  land,  no  monster 
has  ever  seen  me  begging  thee  for  quarter.  Now 
have  I  need  of  a  wrathful,  raging  step-dame — now 
has  thy  passion  cooled  ?  Now  dost  lay  by  thy  hate  ? 
Thou  sparest  me  when  my  prayer  is  all  for  death. 
O  earth  and  cities  of  the  earth,  have  ye  none  to 
bring  torches  'gainst  your  Hercules,  none  to  bring 
arms  ?  Do  ye  withhold  weapons  from  me  ?  So l 
may  no  land  produce  savage  monsters  more  when  I 
am  dead,  and  let  the  world  ne'er  ask  for  aid  of 
mine  ;  if  any  evils  rise,  let  avenger  rise  as  well. 
From  every  side  crush  out  my  luckless  life  with 
stones,  o'erwhelm  my  woes.  O  ungrateful  world, 
dost  falter?  Hast  quite  forgotten  me?  E'en  now 
wouldst  thou  be  prey  to  ills  and  savage  beasts  hadst 
thou  not  borne  me.  Then,  O  ye  peoples,  rescue  your 
champion  from  his  woes.  This  chance  is  given  you 
to  requite  my  services — death  will  be  reward  for  all. 

[Enter  ALCMENA.] 

ALCMENA 

What  lands  shall  Alcides'  wretched  mother  seek  ? 
Where  is  my  son,  oh,  where  ?  If  mine  eyes  see 
aright,  yonder  he  lies,  panting  and  fever-tossed  ;  he 
groans,  his  life  is  at  an  end.  In  a  last  embrace  let 
me  enfold  thee,  O  my  son,  and  gather  thy  parting 
spirit  in  my  mouth  ;  take  my  embracing  arms  to  thine 
— but  where  are  thy  limbs?  Where  is  that  star- 
bearing  neck  which  propped  the  heavens  up  ?  Who 
is  it  has  left  to  thee  but  a  shadow  of  thyself? 

1  i.e.  according  as  ye  grant  my  prayer. 

291 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

IIERCVLES 

Herculem  spectas  quidem, 
mater,  sed  umbram  et  vile  nescio  quid  mei. 
agnosce,  mater — ora  quid  flectis  retro 
voltumque  mergis  ?     Herculem  dici  tuum 
partum  erubescis  ? 

ALCMENA 

Quis  feram  mundus  novam, 

quae  terra  genu it  ?     quodve  tarn  dirum  nefas       1350 
de   te  triumphal  ?     victor  Herculeus  quis  est? 

HERCVLES 
Nuptae  iacentem  cernis  Alciden  dolis. 

ALCMENA 

Quis  tantus  est  qui  vincat  Alciden  dolus  ? 

HERCVLES 

Quicumque,  mater,  feminae  iratae  sat  est. 

ALCMENA 

Et  unde  in  artus  pestis  aut  ossa  incidit  ? 

HERCVLES 

Aditum  venenis  palla  femineis  dedit. 

ALCMENA 

Vbinam  ista  palla  est  ?     membra  nudata  intuor. 

HERCVLES 

Coiisumpta  mecum  est. 

ALCMENA 

Tantane  inventa  est  lues  ? 
292 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

HERCULES 

Hercules  thou  seest  indeed,  my  mother,  but  'tis 
the  shadow  and  the  vile  somewhat  of  myself.  Behold 
me,  mother  why  dost  thou  turn  thine  eyes  away  and 
hide  thy  face  ?  Art  ashamed  to  have  Hercules 
called  thy  son  ? 

ALCMENA 

What  world,  what  land  has  given  birth  to  a  fresh 
monster  ?  What  so  dread  horror  is  triumphing  over 
thee  ?  Who  is  a  victor  over  Hercules  ? 

HERCULES 

By  his  wife's  wiles  thou  seest  Alcides  low. 

ALCMENA 

What  wile  is  great  enough  to  worst  Alcides  ? 

HERCULES 

Whatever,  mother,  suffices  a  woman's  wrath. 

ALCMENA 

And  how  gained  the  pest  entrance  to  thy  joints 

and  bones  ? 

HERCULES 

A  robe,  poisoned  by  woman's  hands,  gave  entrance 
to  it. 

ALCMENA 

Where  is  that  robe  ?     I  see  but  naked  limbs. 

HERCULES 

'Twas  consumed  with  me. 


ALCMENA 

Was  so  destructive  pestilence  ever  found  ? 


293 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

HERCVLES 

Errare  mediis  crede  visceribus  meis, 
o  mater,  hydram  et  mille  cum  Lerna  feras.  1360 

quae  tanta  nubes  flamma  Sicanias  secat, 
quae  Lemnos  ardens,  quae  plaga  igniferi  poli 
vetans  flagrant!  currere  in  zona  diem  ? 
in  ipsa  me  iactate,  pro  comites,  freta 
mediosque  in  amnes — quis  sat  est  Hister  mihi? 
non  ipse  terris  maior  Oceanus  meos 
franget  vapores,  omnis  in  nostris  mails 
deficiet  umor,  omnis  arescet  latex, 
quid,  rector  Erebi,  me  remittebas  lovi  ? 
decuit  tenere  ;  redde  me  tenebris  tuis,  1370 

talem  subactis  Herculem  ostende  inferis. 
nil  inde  ducam,  quid  times  iterum  Herculem? 
invade,  mors,  non  trepida ;  iam  possum  mori. 


ALCMENA 

Compesce  lacrimas  saltern  et  aerumnas  doma 
malisque  tantis  Herculem  indomitum  refer 
mortemque  differ ;  quos  soles  vince  inferos. 

HERCVLES 

Si  me  catenis  horridus  vinctum  suis 
praeberet  avidae  Caucasus  volucri  dapem, 
Scythia  gemente  flebilis  gemitus  mihi 
non  extitisset ;  si  vagae  Symplegades  1380 

utraque  premerent  rupe,  redeuntis  miriax l 

1  So  Richter :    redeuntes  fminas  Leo  with  E,  suggesting 
silens. 

1  i.e.  the  hydra. 

2  He  compares  these  flames  with  the  fires  of  Aetna. 

294. 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

HERCULES 

Believe  me,  mother,  through  my  inmost  parts  the 
hydra  is  wandering  and  with  the  Lernaean  one  1  a 
thousand  savage  beasts.  What  flames 2  as  hot  as 
these  pierce  the  Sicilian  clouds,  what  Lemnian  fires, 
or  heaven's  burning  tract,  within  whose  scorching 
zone 3  the  sun's  path  may  not  lie  ?  O  comrades, 
throw  me  into  the  sea  itself,  into  the  river's  midst- 
alas!  what  Hister  is  enough  for  me?  Though 
greater  than  all  lands,  the  Ocean  itself  will  not  cool 
my  burning  pains ;  to  ease  my  woe  all  water  will  dry 
up,  all  moisture  fail.  Why,  ruler  of  Erebus,  didst 
send  me  back  to  Jove  ?  Twere  more  seemly  to  have 
held  me  fast.  To  thy  glooms  restore  me,  and  show 
such  Hercules  as  this  to  the  ghosts  4  I  conquered. 
Naught  will  I  take  away  ;  why  dost  fear  Hercules  a 
second  time  ?  Assail  me,  Death,  and  fear  not ;  now 
do  I  brook  to  die. 

ALCMENA 

Restrain  thy  tears,  at  least,  master  thy  pains  ;  even 
to  such  woes  show  Hercules  invincible ;  put  death 
away  ;  conquer  the  lords  of  hell  as  is  thy  wont. 

HERCULES 

If  rugged  Caucasus  should  offer  me,  bound  by  its 
chains,  as  a  feast  to  greedy  birds,5  while  Scythia 
mourned  around,  no  doleful  cry  would  issue  from  my 
lips  ;  should  the  wandering  Symplegades  crush  me 
'twixt  both  their  cliffs,  their  returning  rushes  would 

3  i.e.   the   space   between  the  ecliptic    and  the  celestial 
equator. 

4  All  the  creatures  he  conquered  on  earth  are  now  ghosts 
in  the  lower  world. 

6  He  is  thinking  of  the  sufferings  of  Prometheus. 

295 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ferrem  ruinas  ;   Pindus  incumbat  mihi 

atque  Haeinus  et  qui  Thracios  fluctus  Athos 

frangit  lovisque  fulmen  excipiens  Mimas; 

non  ipse  si  in  me,  mater,  hie  mundus  ruat 

superque  nostros  flagret  incensus  toros 

Phoebeus  axis,  degener  mentem  Herculis 

clamor  domaret.     mille  decurrant  ferae 

pariterque  lacerent,  hinc  feris  clangoribus 

aetheria  me  Stymphalis,  hinc  taurus  minax  1390 

cervice  tota  pulset  et  quidquid  fuit 

solum  quoque  ingens  ;  surgat  hinc  illinc  nemus 

artusque  nostros  durus  immittat  Sinis  : 

sparsus  silebo — non  ferae  excutient  mihi, 

non  arma  gemitus,  nil  quod  impelli  potest. 

ALCMENA 

Non  virus  artus,  nate,  femineum  coquit, 
sed  dura  series  operis  et  longus  tibi 
pavit  cruentos  forsitan  morbos  labor. 

HERCVLES 

Vbi  morbus,  ubinam  est  ?    estne  adhuc  aliquid  mali 
in  orbe  mecum  ?     veniat ;  hue  aliquis  mihi  1400 

intendat  arcus — nuda  sufficiet  manus. 
procedat  agedum  hue. 

ALCMENA 

Ei  mihi,  sensum  quoque 
excussit  ille  nimius  impulsans  dolor. 

296 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

I  bear,  defiant ;  were  Pindus  lying  on  me,  and 
Haemus,  and  Athos  which  resists  the  Thracian 
waves,  and  Mimas  which  welcomes  the  bolts  of 
Jupiter ;  mother,  if  even  this  sky  should  fall  upon 
my  head,  and  over  my  shoulders  the  fiery  car  of 
Phoebus  should  go  flaming,  no  coward  cry  would 
subdue  Alcides'  soul.  *  Though  a  thousand  beasts  at 
once  should  rush  against  me  and  rend  me  sore  ; 
though  here  from  the  skies  Stymphalus'  bird, 
swooping  with  clangour  wild,  and  there  with  full 
strength  the  threatening  bull  should  push  upon  me, 
and  whatever  huge  monster  has  sprung  from  earth  ; 
though  Sinis'  groves  should  arise  this  side  and  that, 
and  the  rough  giant  shoot  my  limbs  ]  afar  ;  rent  limb 
from  limb,  still  will  I  hold  my  peace — no  beasts,  no 
arms,  naught  that  can  be  met  and  vanquished  shall 
extort  one  groan  from  me. 

ALCMENA 

Son,  'tis  no  woman's  poison  melts  thy  frame  ;  but 
thy  hard  round  of  labours,  thine  unceasing  toil,  per- 
chance has  fed  some  deadly  disease  in  thee. 

HERCULES 

Disease?  Where  is  it?  Where  is  it,  pray?  Is 
there  still  aught  of  evil  in  the  world  with  me  alive  ? 
Let  it  come  on  ;  let  some  one  reach  hither  my  bow 
to  me — nay,  my  bare  hands  will  be  enough.  Let  it 
come  on,  I  say.  [He  sinks  into  a  deep,  swoon-Like 
slumber.] 

ALCMENA 

Alas  !  the  too  great  shock  of  agony  hath  reft  e'en 
his  sense  away.  [Yb  attendants.]  Remove  his  weapons, 

1  See  Index  «.u.  "  Sinis. " 

297 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

removete  quaeso  tela  et  infestas  precor 

rapite  hinc  sagittas  :  igne  suffuso  genae 

seel  us  minantur.     quas  petam  latebras  anus  ? 

dolor  iste  furor  est :  Herculem  solus  domat. 

cur  deinde  latebras  aut  fugam  vaecors  petam  ? 

obire  forti  meruit  Alcmene  manu : 

vel  scelere  pereat,  antequam  letum  mihi  1410 

ignavus  aliquis  niaiidet l  ac  turpis  manus 

de  me  triumphet. 

Ecce  lassatus  mails 
sopore  fessas  alligat  venas  dolor 
gravique  anhelum  pectus  impulsu  quatit. 
favete,  superi.     si  mihi  riatum  inclutum 
miserae  negastis,  vindicem  saltern  precor 
servate  terris.     abeat  excussus  dolor 
corpusque  vires  reparet  Herculeum  suas. 

HYLLVS 

Pro  lux  acerba,  pro  capax  scelerum  dies ! 
minis  Tonaiitis  occidit,  natus  iacet,  1420 

nepos  supersum ;  scelere  materno  hie  perit, 
fraude  ilia  capta  est.     quis  per  annorum  vices 
totoque  in  aevo  poterit  aerumnas  senex 
referre  tantas  ?     unus  eripuit  dies 
parentem  utrumque  ;  cetera  ut  sileam  mala 
parcamque  fatis,  Herculem  amitto  patrem, 

ALCMENA 

Compesce  voces,  inclutum  Alcidae  genus 
miseraeque  fato  similis  Alcmenae  nepos  : 
longus  dolorem  forsitan  vincet  sopor. 

1  So  A  :  mandat .  .  .  triumphal  Leo  with  E. 
298 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

take  these  deadly  shafts  out  of  his  reach,  I  pray  you  ; 
his  burning  cheeks  portend  some  violence.  Where 
shall  an  old  woman  hide  herself?  That  is  the  smart 
of  madness  ;  it  alone  masters  Hercules.  But  why 
should  I,  foolish  that  I  am,  seek  flight  or  hiding  ?  By 
a  brave  hand  Alcmena  deserves  to  die  ;  so  let  me 
perish  even  impiously,  before  some  craven  decree  my 
death,  or  a  base  hand  triumph  over  me. 

1412  But  see,  all  spent  with  woe,  his  pain  holds  his 
worn  heart  fast  bound  in  slumber,  and  his  panting 
chest  heaves  with  laboured  breathing.  Help  him,  ye 
gods !  If  to  my  misery  ye  have  denied  my  glorious 
son,  at  least  spare  to  the  world,  I  pray,  its  champion. 
May  his  smart  be  driven  quite  away,  and  the  body  of 
Hercules  renew  its  strength. 

[Enter  HYLLUS.] 

HYLLUS 

0  bitter  light,  O  crime-filled  day!     Dead  is  the 
Thunderer's  daughter.1  his  son  lies  dying,  and  I,  his 
grandson,  still  survive.     By  my  mother's  crime  is  he 
perishing,  but  she    was    by  guile    ensnared.     What 
aged    man,  throughout   his    round    of  years,  in  his 
whole  life,  will  be  able   to  recount  woes  so  great  ? 
Both  parents  has  one  day  taken  off;  to  say  naught 
of  other  ills  and  to  spare  the   fates,2  Hercules,  my 
father,  am  I  losing. 

ALCMENA 

Restrain  thy  words,  child  of  illustrious  sire, 
wretched  Alcmena's  grandson,  like  her  in  fate;  per- 
chance long  slumber  will  o'ercome  his  pains.  But 

1  Dei'anira,  who  has  just  killed  herself  offstage. 

2  i.e.  not  to  speak  too  hardly  of  them  by  recounting  all 
their  cruelty. 

299 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 
sed  ecce,  lassam  deserit  mentem  quies  1 4-30 

redditque  morbo  corpus  et  luctum  raihi. 

HERCVLES 

Quid  hoc  ?     rigenti  cernitur  Trachin  iugo 
aut  inter  astra  positus  evasi  genus 
mortal  e  tandem  ?     quis  mihi  caelum  parat  ? 
te  te,  pater,  iam  video,  placatam  quoque 
specto  novercam.     quis  sonus  nostras  ferit 
caelestis  aures  ?     luno  me  generum  vocat  ! 
video  nitentem  regiam  clari  aetheris 
Phoebique  tritam  flammea  zonam  rota, 
cubile  video  Noctis  ;  hinc  tenebrae  vocant.1         144-0 

Quid  hoc  ?     quis  arcem  cludit  et  ab  ipsis,  pater, 
deducit  astris  ?     ora  Phoebeus  modo 
afflabat  axis,  iam  prope  a  caelo  fui — 
Trachina  video,     quis  mihi  terras  dedit  ? 
Oete  modo  infra  steterat  ac  totus  fuit 
suppositus  orbis.     quam  bene  excideras,  dolor  I 
cogis  fateri — parce  et  hanc  vocem  occupa. 

Hoc,  Hylle,  dona  matris  hoc  munus  parant. 
utinam  liceret  stipite  ingesto  impiam 
efFringere  animam  quale  Amazonium  malum         1450 
circa  nivalis  Caucasi  domui  latus. 
o  cara  Megara,  tune  cum  furerem  mihi 
coniunx  fuisti  ?     stipitem  atque  arcus  date, 

1  So  Richter  with  MSS.  order;  Leo  reads  this  line  after 
U44. 
300 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

see,  repose  is  deserting  his  weary  heart,  and  gives 
back  his  frame  to  suffering,  me  to  grief. 

HERCULES  [awakening  in  delirium] 

Why,  what  is  this  ?  Do  I  see  Trachin  midst  her 
rugged  hills,  or  have  I,  set  'mongst  the  stars,  at  last 
left  behind  the  race  of  men  ?  Who  opens  heaven  for 
me  ?  Thee,  thee,  my  father,  now  do  I  behold,  and 
my  step- dame  also,  at  last  appeased,  I  see.  What 
heavenly  sound  strikes  on  mine  ears  ?  Juno  calls 
me  son  !  I  see  bright  heaven's  gleaming  palace,  and 
the  track  worn  by  Phoebus'  burning  wheels.  I  see 
Night's  couch  ;  her  shadows  call  me  hence. 
[Begins  to  come  out  of  his  delirium.] 

1441  But  what  is  this  ?  Who  shuts  heaven's  gates 
to  me,  O  father,  and  draws  me  down  even  from  the 
stars  ?  But  now  the  car  of  Phoebus  breathed  hot 
upon  my  face,  now  was  I  near  to  heaven — but  I  see 
Trachin.  Who  has  given  me  earth  again  ?  A 
moment  since,  and  Oeta  stood  below  me,  and  the 
whole  world  lay  beneath  my  feet.  How  well,  O 
pain,  hadst  thou  fallen  from  me  !  Thou  compellest 
me  to  confess — but  stay,  forestall  that  word.1 

[7b  HYLLUS.] 

H48  o  Hyllus,  this,  this  is  thy  mother's  boon,  her 
gift  to  me.  Would  that  with  lifted  club  I  might 
crush  out  her  wicked  life  just  as  I  smote  down  the 
Amazonian  pest  -  upon  the  slopes  of  snowy  Caucasus. 
O  well-loved  Megara,  wast  thou  wife  3  to  me  when 
madness  came  upon  me  ?  Give  me  my  club  and 

1  He  thus  checks  himself   on   the   brink   of  an  unmanly 
confession  of  his  weakness. 

2  i.e.  the  Amazons  themselves. 

3  It  should  have  been  Delanira. 

301 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

dextra  inquinetur,  laudibus  maculam  imprimam, 
summus  legatur  femina  Herculeus  labor. 

HYLLVS 

Compesce  diras,  genitor,  irarum  minas  ; 
habet,  peractum  est,  quas  petis  poenas  dedit ; 
sua  perempta  dextera  mater  iacet. 

HERCVLES 

Cecidit  dolose  1  ;  manibus  irati  Herculis 
occidere  meruit ;  perdidit  comitem  Lichas.  1 4-60 

saevire  in  ipsum  corpus  exanime  impetus 
atque  ira  cogit.     cur  minis  nostris  caret 
ipsum  cadaver  ?     pabulum  accipiant  ferae. 

HYLLVS 

Plus  misera  laeso  doluit ;  hinc  aliquid  quoque 
detrahere  velles.     occidit  dextra  sua, 
tuo  dolore  ;  plura  quam  poscis  tulit. 
sed  non  cruentae  sceleribus  nuptae  iaces 
nee  fraude  matris  ;  Nessus  hos  struxit  dolos 
ictus  sagittis  qui  tuis  vitam  expuit. 
cruore  tincta  est  palla  semiferi,  pater,  1470 

Nessusque  nunc  has  exigit  poeiias  sibi. 

HERCVLES 

Habet,  peractum  est,  fata  se  nostra  explicant ; 
lux  ista  summa  est.     quercus  hanc  sortem  mihi 

1  So  Richter:  relicte  dolor  es  Leo:  caeci  dolores  A  :  recte 
dolor  es  E :  iacet  ?  ei  dolori  est  Ptiper. 

302 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

bow,  let  my  right  hand  be  defiled,  let  me  put  stain 
upon  my  glory,  and  let  a  woman  be  chosen  as  the  last 
toil  of  Hercules. 

HYLLUS 

Check  the  dire  threatenings  of  thy  wrath,  my 
father  ;  she  has  it,1  'tis  over,  the  penalty  which  thou 
desirest  she  has  paid  ;  slain  by  her  own  hand,  my 
mother  lies  in  death. 

HERCULES 

Treacherously  has  she  fallen ;  by  the  hands  of 
enraged  Hercules  should  she  have  died ;  Lichas  has 
lost  a  comrade.  I  am  moved  to  rage  e'en  'gainst 
her  lifeless  body,  and  wrath  impels  me.  Why  is 
even  her  corpse  safe  from  my  assaults  ?  Let  the 
wild  beasts  make  banquet  on  it. 

HYLLUS 

The  unhappy  woman  has  suffered  more  than  him 
she  injured ;  somewhat  still  of  this  thou  wouldst 
wish  to  lighten.  By  her  own  hand  has  she  fallen, 
through  grief  for  thee ;  more  suffering  than  thou 
demandest  has  she  borne.  But  'tis  not  by  crimes  of 
a  murderous  wife,  nor  by  my  mother's  guile,  thou 
liest  low ;  Nessus  contrived  this  snare,  who,  by  thine 
arrow  smit,  spewed  out  his  life.  Father,  'twas  in 
that  half-beast's  gore  the  robe  was  dipped,  and 
Nessus  by  these  thy  sufferings  doth  requite  his 
own. 

HERCULES 

'Tis  well,2  'tis  over,  my  fate  unfolds  itself;  this  is 
my  last  day  on  earth.  This  oracle  the  prophetic 

1  The  formula  of  the  gladiatorial  contest  when  one  of  the 
contestants  has  received  his  death  stroke. 

2  See  note  on  1.  1457. 

303 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 
fatidica  quondam  dederat  et  Parnassio 
Cirrhaea  quatiens  templa  mugitu  specus  : 
"  dextra  perempti  victor,  Alcide,  viri 
olim  iacebis  ;  hie  tibi  emenso  freta 
terrasque  et  umbras  finis  extremus  datur." 
nil  querimtir  ultra  ;  decuit  hunc  finem  dari, 
ne  quis  superstes  Herculis  victor  foret.  1480 

nunc  mors  legatur  clara  memoranda  incluta, 
me  digna  prorsus.     nobilem  hunc  faciam  diem, 
caedatur  omnis  silva  et  Oetaeum  nemus 
conripite,  ut  ingens  Herculem  accipiat  rogus, 
sed  ante  mortem,     tu,  genus  Poeantium, 
hoc  triste  nobis,  iuvenis,  officium  appara ; 
Herculea  totum  flamma  succendat  diem. 

Ad  te  preces  nunc,  Hylle,  supremas  fero. 
est  clara  captas  inter,  in  voltu  genus 
regnumque  referens,  Euryto  virgo  edita  14-90 

lole.     tuis  hanc  facibus  et  thalamis  para, 
victor  cruentus  abstuli  patriam  lares 
nihilque  miserae  praeter  Alciden  dedi ; 
et  ipse  rapitur.     penset  aerumnas  suas, 
lovis  nepotem  foveat  et  natum  Herculis  ; 
tibi  ilia  pariat  quidquid  ex  nobis  habet. 

Tuque  ipsa  planctus  pone  funereos,  precor, 
o  clara  genetrix  ;  vivit  Alcides  tibi. 
virtute  nostra  paelicem  feci  tuam 

1  The  oracle  of  the  talking  oaks,  sacred  to  Jupiter,  was  at 
Dodona,  in  Kpirus  ;  the  oracle  of  Apollo  at  Delphi  was  in 
Phocis,  on  Mount  Parnassus.  The  poet  either  means  that 

304 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

oak  l  once  gave  me,  and  the  Parnassian  grot,1  shaking 
the  shrines  of  Cirrha  with  rumbling  tones,  declared  : 
"  By  the  hand  of  one  whom,  conquering,  thou  hast 
slain,  Alcides,  one  day  shalt  thou  lie  low  ;  this  end, 
when  thou  hast  traversed  seas  and  lands  and  shades, 
awaits  thee  at  the  last."  We  complain  no  more  ; 
such  end  was  meet,  that  no  living  thing  might 
conquer  Hercules.  Now  let  me  choose  a  death 
glorious,  renowned,  illustrious,  full  worthy  of  myself. 
This  day  will  I  make  famous.  Go,  cut  down  all  the 
woods,  heap  Oeta's  grove  together,  that  a  mighty 
pyre  may  receive  Hercules,  and  that  before  he  dies. 
Thou,  son  2  of  Poeas,  dear  youth,  perform  this  sad 
office  for  me  ;  set  the  whole  sky  aglow  with  the 
flames  of  Hercules. 

1488  And  now  to  thee,  Hyllus,  I  bring  my  latest 
prayer.  Among  the  captives  is  a  beauteous  maid,  in 
feature  revealing  her  race  and  royal  state,  iole, 
daughter  of  king  Eurytus.  Lead  her  to  thy 
chamber  with  wedding  torch.  Victorious,  blood- 
stained, I  robbed  her  of  her  fatherland  and  home, 
and  to  the  wretched  girl  gave  naught  except 
Alcides  ;  and  now  e'en  he  is  reft  from  her.  Let  her 
find  recompense  for  her  sorrows,  and  cherish  Jove's 
grandson  and  the  son  of  Hercules ;  to  thee  be  born 
whatever  seed  she  has  conceived  by  me. 

[To    ALCMENA.] 

1497  Do  thou  thyself  cease  thy  death-wails  for  me, 
I  pray,  illustrious  mother ;  thy  Alcides  lives ;  by  my 
heroic  deeds  have  I  made  my  step-dame  seem  but 

two  oracles  foretold  the  same  fate,  or  simply  mingles  the  two 
references  by  way  of  emphasis  on  the  oracular  utterance 
itself. 

2  Philoctetea. 

305 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

credi  novercam.     sive  nascente  Hercule          ..      1500 

nox  ilia  certa  est  sive  mortalis  meus 

pater  est — licet  sit  falsa  progenies  mei,1 

merui  parentem  ;  contuli  caelo  decus 

materque  me  concepit  in  laudes  lovis. 

quin  ipse,  quamquam  luppiter,  credi  meus 

pater  esse  gaudet.     parce  iam  lacrimis,  parens  ; 

superba  matres  inter  Argolicas  eris. 

quid  tale  luno  genuit  aetherium  gerens 

sceptrum  et  Tonanti  nupta  ?     mortali  tamen        J510 

caelum  tenens  invidit,  Alciden  suum 

dici  esse  voluit. 

Perage  nunc,  Titan,  vices 
solus  relictus  ;  ille  qui  vester  comes 
ubique  fueram,  Tartara  et  manes  peto. 
hanc  tamen  ad  imos  perferam  laudem  inclutam, 
quod  nulla  pestis  fudit  Alciden  palam 
omnemque  pestem  vicit  Alcides  palam. 

CHORVS 

O  decus  mundi,  radiate  Titan, 
cuius  ad  primes  Hecate  vapores 
lassa  nocturnae  levat  ora  bigae,  1520 

die  sub  Aurora  positis  Sabaeis, 
die  sub  occasu  positis  Hiberis, 
quique  sub  plaustro  patiuntur  ursae 
quique  ferventi  quatiuntur  axe, 
die  sub  aeternos  properare  manes 
1  Leo  deletes  1.  1503 :  materna  culpa  cesset  et  crimen  lovis. 

1  By  bearing  such  a  son  to  Jove,  Alcmena  is  proved  to  be 
real  wife,  and  Juno  the  mistress. 

3C6 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

the  concubine.1  Whether  the  tale  2  of  the  night  of 
Hercules'  begetting  be  the  truth,  or  whether  my  sire 
be  mortal 3 — though  I  be  falsely  called  the  son  of 
Jove,  I  have  deserved  to  be  his  son  ;  glory  on  heaven 
have  I  conferred,  and  to  Jove's  glory  did  my  mother 
bring  me  forth.  Nay,  he  himself,  though  he  be 
Jupiter,  is  glad  to  be  believed  my  sire.  Dry  now 
thy  tears,  my  mother;  proud  'mongst  the  Grecian 
mothers  shalt  thou  be.  What  son  like  thine  has 
Juno  borne,  though  she  wield  the  sceptre  of  the 
skies,  and  be  the  Thunderer's  bride  ?  Still,  though 
queen  of  heaven,  she  envied  a  mortal  woman,  and 
wished  that  Alcides  might  be  called  her  own. 

1512  Now,  O  Sun,  must  thou  speed  thy  course 
alone,  for  I,  who  have  been  thy  companion  every- 
where, am  bound  for  Tartarus  and  the  land  of 
shades.  Yet  to  the  depths  shall  I  bear  this  glorious 
fame,  that  no  pest  openly  has  laid  Alcides  low, 
and  that  all  pests  openly  has  Alcides  slain. 

[He  goes  out  toward  the  pyre  which  has  been  prepared  for 

him.] 

CHORUS 

O  glory  of  the  world,  O  ray-girt  Sun,  at  whose 
first  warmth  Hecate  loosens  the  bits  from  the  weary 
steeds  of  her  nocturnal  car,  tell  the  Sabaeans  who 
lie  beneath  the  dawn,  tell  the  Iberians  who  lie 
beneath  thy  setting,  tell  those  who  suffer  'neath  the 
Wagon  of  the  Bear,4  and  those  who  pant  beneath 
thy  burning  car :  Hercules  is  hasting  to  the  endless 

2  See  Index  s.v.  "  Hercules,"  at  beginning. 
*  i.e.  Amphitryon. 

4  This  northern  constellation  is  either  the  Wain  (wagon) 
or  the  Bear.     The  poet  confuses  the  two  conceptions. 

307 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Herculem  et  regnum  canis  inquieti, 

unde  non  umquam  remeabit  ille.1 

sume  quos  nubes  radios  sequantur, 

pallid  us  maestas  speculare  terras 

et  caput  turpes  nebulae  pererrent.  1530 

quando,  pro  Titan,  ubi,  quo  sub  axe 

Herculem  in  terris  alium  sequeris  ? 

quas  manus  orbis  miser  invocabit, 

si  qua  sub  Lerna  numerosa  pestis 

sparget  in  centum  rabiem  dracones, 

Arcadum  si  quis  populis  vetustis 

fecerit  silvas  aper  inquietas, 

Thraciae  si  quis  Rhodopes  alumnus 

durior  terris  Helices  nivosae 

sparget  humano  stabulum  cruore  ?  1540 

quis  dabit  pacem  populo  timenti, 

si  quid  irati  superi  per  orbem 

iusserint  nasci  ?     iacet  omnibus  par, 

quern  parem  tell  us  genuit  Tonanti. 

planctus  immensas  resonet  per  urbes 

et  comas  nullo  cohibente  nodo 

feminae  exertos  feriant  lacertos, 

solaque  obductis  foribus  deorum 

templa  securae  pateant  novercae. 

Vadis  ad  Lethen  Stygiumque  litus,         1550 
unde  te  nullae  referent  carinae  ; 
vadis  ad  manes  miserandus,  unde 
Morte  devicta  tuleras  triumphum, 
umbra  nudatis  veniens  lacertis 
languido  vultu  tenuique  collo  ; 
teque  non  solum  feret  ilia  puppis  2 

1  So  Richter :  unde  non  umquam  remeavit  ullus  A  :  Leo 
funde  non  numquam  remeavit  inde  with  E,  Leo  conjecturing 
denuo  numquam  remeabit  inde. 

3  Peiper  notes  a  lacuna  after  I.  1556,  which  Leo  thus  sup- 
plies: quae  tulit  solum  metuitque  mergi. 

308 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

shades,  to  the  realm  of  sleepless  Cerberus,  whence 
he  will  never  more  return.  Let  thy  bright  rays  be 
overcast  with  clouds  ;  gaze  on  the  grieving  world 
with  pallid  face  and  let  disfiguring  mists  roam  o'er 
thy  head.  When,  O  Titan,  where,  beneath  what 
sky  wilt  thou  follow  another  Hercules  on  the  earth  ? 
To  whose  aid  will  the  wretched  world  appeal  if 
within  Lerna's  swamp  some  many-headed  pest  in  a 
hundred  snakes  shall  spread  its  poisonous  rage ;  if 
for  the  ancient  tribes  of  Arcady  some  boar  shall 
disturb  the  quiet  of  the  woods  ;  if  some  son l  of 
Thracian  Rhodope,  harder  than  the  ground  of  snow- 
clad  Helice,  shall  spatter  his  stalls  with  the  blood  of 
men  ?  Who  to  the  trembling  nations  will  give  peace, 
if  the  angry  gods  shall  raise  up  new  monsters  o'er 
the  world  ?  Level  with  all  men  he  lies,2  whom 
earth  produced  level  with  the  Thunderer.  Through 
countless  cities  let  cries  of  brief  resound ;  let 
women  with  streaming  hair  smite  their  bare  arms  ; 
let  the  temples  of  all  gods  be  closed  save  his  step- 
dame's  only,  for  she  only  is  free  from  care. 

1550  Thou  farest  to  Lethe  and  the  Stygian  shore 
whence  no  keel  will  ever  bring  thee  back ;  thou 
farest,  lamented  one,  unto  the  ghosts  whence,  over- 
coming Death,  thou  didst  once  return  in  triumph, 
now  but  a  shade,  with  fieshless  arms,  wan  face  and 
drooping  neck ;  nor  will  that  skiff,  which  once  bore 
thee  alone  and  feared  'twould  be  plunged  beneath 

1  Like  Diomedes,  the  bloody  tyrant  of  Thrace. 

2  i.e.  brought  to  the  common  level  by  death. 

309 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

non  tamen  viles  eris  inter  umbras, 

Aeacon  l  inter  geminosque  Gretas 

facta  discernens,  feriens  tyrannos. 

parcite,  o  elites,  inhibete  dextras.  1560 

laudis  est  purum  tenuisse  ferrum, 

cumque  regnabas,  minus  in  procellis 

in  tuas  urbes  licuisse  fatis. 

Sed  locum  virtus  habet  inter  astra. 
sedis  arctoae  spatium  tenebis 
an  graves  Titan  ubi  promit  aestus  ? 
an  sub  occasu  tepido  nitebis, 
unde  commisso  resonare  ponto 
audies  Calpen  ?     loca  quae  sereni 
deprimes  caeli  ?     quis  erit  recepto  1 570 

tutus  Alcide  locus  inter  astra  ? 
horrido  tantum  procul  a  leone 
det  pater  sedes  calidoque  cancro, 
ne  tuo  vultu  tremefacta  leges 
astra  conturbent  trepidetque  Titan, 
vere  dum  flores  venient  tepenti 
et  comam  silvis  hiemes  recident, 
vel  comam  silvis  revocabit  aestas 
pomaque  autumno  fugiente  cedent, 
nulla  te  terris  rapiet  vetustas  ;  1580 

tu  comes  Phoebo,  comes  ibis  astris. 
ante  nascetur  seges  in  profundo 
vel  fretum  dulci  resonabit  unda, 
ante  descendet  glacialis  ursae 
sidus  et  ponto  vetito  fruetur, 
quam  tuas  laudes  populi  quiescant. 

Te,  pater  rerum,  miseri  precamur : 
nulla  nascatur  fera,  nulla  pestis, 
non  duces  saevos  miseranda  tellus 
horreat,  nulla  dominetur  aula  1590 

1  So  Oronovius  :  Aeacos  Leo  with  E :  Aeacumque  A. 
310 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

the  waves,1  bear  thee  alone.  And  yet  thou  shall 
not  dwell  midst  common  shades  ;  midst  Aeacus  and 
the  two  Cretans 2  shalt  thou  be,  sitting  in  judgment 
on  men's  deeds,  scourging  tyrannic  kings.  Spare,  O 
ye  mighty,  restrain  your  hands.  'Tis  thy  praise  to 
have  kept  the  sword  unstained  and  that,  what  time 
thou  didst  bear  sway,  fate  midst  its  storms  had  less 
power  against  thy  cities. 

1564  But  now  has  thy  manhood  place  amongst  the 
stars.  Wilt  occupy  the  spaces  of  the  north,  or 
where  Titan  sends  forth  his  oppressive  rays  ?  Or  in 
the  warm  western  sky  wilt  shine,  where  thou  wilt 
hear  Calpe  resound  with  the  charging  sea?  What 
region  of  the  cloudless  heavens  wilt  thou  weigh 
down?  What  place,  when  Alcides  comes,  will  be 
safe  amidst  the  stars  ?  Only  may  Jove  give  thee  thy 
seat  far  from  the  dread  Lion  and  the  burning  Crab, 
lest  at  sight  of  thee  the  affrighted  stars  make  turmoil 
of  their  laws  and  Titan  tremble.  While  flowers  shall 
bloom  as  the  spring  days  grow  warm  ;  while  winter 
shall  strip  the  foliage  from  the  trees,  and  summer  to 
the  trees  recall  their  foliage  ;  while  fruits  shall  fall  as 
autumn  takes  his  flight,  no  lapse  of  time  shall  snatch 
thee  from  the  world  ;  comrade  of  Phoebus,  comrade 
of  the  stars,  shalt  thou  pass  on.  Sooner  shall  wheat 
sprout  from  the  surface  of  the  deep ;  sooner  the 
roaring  waves  of  the  sea  be  sweet ;  sooner  shall  the 
icy  Bear  come  down  and  enjoy  the  forbidden  waters, 
than  shall  the  nations  be  silent  of  thy  praise. 

1587  To  thee,  father  of  all,  in  wretchedness  we 
pray  :  let  no  dread  beast  be  born,  no  pest  ;  from  the 
fear  of  savage  kings  keep  this  poor  world  free  ;  let 
no  one  lord  it  in  palace  hall  who  deems  it  the  sole 


1  Translating  Leo's  suggested  line. 
*  Minos  and  Rhadamanthus. 


311 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

qui  putet  solum  decus  esse  regni 
semper  impensum  tenuisse  ferrum. 
si  quid  in  terris  iterum  timetur, 
vindicem  terrae  petimus  relictae. 

Heu  quid  hoc  ?     mundus  sonat.     ecce  maeret, 
maeret  Alciden  pater ;  an  deorum 
clamor,  an  vox  est  timidae  novercae  ? 
Hercule  an  viso  fugit  astra  luno  ? 
passus  an  pondus  titubavit  Atlas? 
an  magis  diri  tremuere  manes  1600 

Herculem  et  visum  canis  iiiferorum 
fugit  abruptis  trepidus  catenis  ? 
fallimur ;  laeto  venit  ecce  voltu 
quern  tulit  Poeans  umerisque  tela 
gestat  et  notas  populis  pharetras, 
Herculis  heres. 

Eflfare  casus,  iuvenis,  Herculeos  precor 
voltuque  quonam  tulerit  Alcides  riecem. 

PHILOCTETES  1 

Quo  nemo  vitam. 

CHORVS 

Laetus  adeone  ultimos 
invasit  ignes  ? 

PHILOCTETES 

Esse  iam  flammas  nihil  1610 

ostendit  ille.     quid  sub  hoc  mundo  Hercules 
immune  vinci  liquit  ?     en  domita  oninia. 

CHORVS 
Inter  vapores  quis  fuit  forti  locus  ? 

1  The  dialogue,  throughout  this  scene  is  given  by  Leo  and 
Rirhfer  to  Xuntius  and  Chorus,  fo/lo>nng  E\  to  Nutrix  and 
PhUoctetes  A  ;  since  the  messenger  is  obviously  Philoctetes  (see 

312 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

glory  of  his  realm  to  have  held  the  sword  e'er 
threatening.  If  some  dread  thing  should  come 
again  to  earth,  oh,  give  to  forsaken  earth  a  champion. 
1595  But  what  is  this  ?  The  universe  resounds. 
Behold,  he  mourns,  the  father  mourns  Alcides  ;  or  is 
it  the  outcry  of  the  gods  or  the  voice  of  his  frighted 
step-dame  ?  At  the  sight  of  Hercules  does  Juno  flee 
the  stars?  Under  the  mighty  weight  has  Atlas 
staggered?  Or  is  it  that  the  awful  ghosts  have 
trembled  and  at  sight  of  Hercules  the  hell-hound  in 
affright  has  broken  his  chains  and  fled  ?  No,  we  are 
wrong ;  behold  with  joyful  face  comes  Poeas'  son 
and  on  his  shoulders  he  bears  the  shafts  and  the 
quiver  known  to  all,  the  heir  of  Hercules. 

[Enter  PHILOCTETES.] 

1607  Speak  out,  good  youth,  and  tell  the  end  of 
Hercules,  I  pray,  and  with  what  countenance  Alcides 
bore  his  death. 

PHILOCTETES 

With  such  as  none  e'er  bore  his  life. 

CHORUS 
So  joyous  did  he  mount  his  funeral  pyre  ? 

PHILOCTETES 

He  showed  that  now  flames  were  as  naught  to 
him.  What  'neath  the  heavens  has  Hercules  left 
by  defeat  unscathed  ?  Lo,  all  things  have  been 
subdued. 

CHORUS 

Midst  the  hot  flames  what  room  was  there  for 
valour  ? 

I.  1604)  and  there  is  no  pertinency  in  the  introduction  of  the 
nurse,  we  have  given  the  dialogue  to  Philoctetes  and  the  Chorus. 

313 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

PHILOCTKTES 

Quod  unum  in  orbe  vicerat  nondum  malum, 
et  flamma  victa  est  ;  haec  quoque  accessit  feris  : 
inter  labores  ignis  Herculeos  abit. 

CHORVS 
Edissere  agedum,  flamma  quo  victa  est  modo  ? 

PHILOCTETES 

Vt  omnis  Oeten  maesta  corripuit  manus, 
huic  fagus  umbras  perdit  et  toto  iacet 
succissa  trunco,  flectit  hie  pinum  ferox  1620 

astris  minantein  et  nube  de  media  vocat ; 
ruitura  cautem  movit  et  silvam  tulit 
secum  minorem.      Chaonis  qualis  loquax 
stat  vasta  late  quercus  et  Phoebum  vetat 
ultraque  totos  porrigit  ramos  manus  ; 
gemit  ilia  multo  volnere  impresso  ininax 
frangitque  cuneos,  resilit  incussus  chalybs 
volnusque  ferrum  patitur  et  rigidum  est  parum. 
commota  tandem  cum  cadens  latam  sui 
duxit  ruinam,  protinus  radios  locus  630 

admisit  omnes  ;  sedibus  pulsae  suis 
volucres  pererrant  nemore  succiso  diem 
quaeruntque  lassis  garrulae  pinnis  domus. 
iamque  omnis  arbor  sonuit  et  sacrae  quoque 
sensere  quercus  horridam  ferro  manum 
nullique  priscum  profuit  luco  nemus. 
aggeritur  omnis  silva  et  alternae  trabes 
in  astra  tollunt  Herculi  angustum  rogum  : 


1  See  Index  s.v.  "Chaoiiian  Oaks." 

2  Oak-trees  were  especially  sacred  to  Jove. 

314 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

PHILOCTETES 

The  one  enemy  on  earth  which  he  had  not  o'ei- 
come,  e'en  fire,  is  vanquished  ;  this  also  has  been 
added  to  the  beasts ;  fire  has  taken  its  place  midst 
the  toils  of  Hercules. 

CHORUS 

But  tell  us,  in  what  wise  were  the  flames  o'er- 
come  ? 

PHILOCTETES 

When  the  whole  sorrowing  band  fell  upon  Oeta's 
woods,  by  the  hands  of  one  the  beech-tree  lost  its 
shade  and  lay  full  length,  hewn  to  the  ground  ;  one 
fiercely  felled  a  pine-tree,  towering  to  the  stars,  and 
from  the  clouds'  midst  he  summoned  it ;  in  act  to 
fall,  it  shook  the  rocky  slope  and  with  itself  brought 
down  the  lesser  woods.  A  huge  oak  stood,  wide 
spreading,  such  as  Chaonia's  oak  1  of  prophecy,  ex- 
cluding the  light  of  day  and  stretching  its  branches 
far  beyond  all  the  grove.  Threat'ning  it  groaned, 
by  many  a  blow  beset,  and  broke  the  wedges  ;  back 
bounded  the  smiting  steel ;  its  edge  was  dulled,  too 
soft  for  such  a  task.  When  the  tree,  at  last  dis- 
lodged, falling,  brings  widespread  ruin  down,  straight- 
way the  place  lets  in  the  sun's  full  rays ;  the  birds, 
driven  from  their  perches,  flit  aimless  through  the 
day  midst  the  felled  grove,  and,  loudly  complaining, 
with  wearied  wings  seek  for  their  nests.  And  now 
every  tree  resounded,  and  even  the  sacred  oaks  2  felt 
the  dread  steel-armed  hand,  and  its  ancient  woods 
availed  no  holy  grove.3  The  whole  forest  was  piled 
into  a  heap  ;  and  the  logs,  starward  in  layers  rising, 
made  all  too  small  a  pyre  for  Hercules — the  pine- 

8  A  deep,  primeval  forest,  for  ages  left  untouched,  had 
acquired  a  special  sanctity. 

315 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

raptura  flammas  pinus  et  robur  tenax 

et  brevior  ilex  silva  ;  sed  complet  rogum  1640 

populea  silva,  frontis  Herculeae  decus. 

At  ille,  ut  ingens  nemore  sub  Nasamonio 
aegro  reclinis  pectore  immugit  leo, 
fertur — quis  ilium  credat  ad  flammas  rapi  ? 
voltus  petentis  astra,  non  ignes  erat, 
ut  pressit  Oeten  ac  suis  oculis  rogum 
lustravit  omnem.     fregit  impositus  trabes. 
arcus  poposcit.     "accipe  haec  "  inquit,  "sate 
Poeante,  dona  et  munus  Alcidae  cape, 
has  hydra  sensit,  his  iacent  Stymphalides  16.50 

et  quidquid  aliud  eminus  vici  malum. 
virtute  felix,1  iuvenis,  has  numquam  irritas 
mittes  in  hostem  ;  sive  de  media  voles 
auferre  volucres  nube,  descendent  aves 
et  certa  praedae  tela  de  caelo  fluent, 
nee  fallet  umquam  dexteram  hie  arcus  tuam. 
librare  tela  didicit  et  certam  dare 
fugam  sagittis,  ipsa  non  fallunt  iter 
emissa  nervo  tela.     tu  tantum  precor 
accommoda  ignes  et  facem  extremam  mihi.  1660 

hie  nodus  "  inquit  "  nulla  quern  cepit  manus, 
mecum  per  ignes  flagret ;  hoc  telum  Herculem 
tantum  sequetur.     hoc  quoque  acciperes  '    ait 
"si  ferre  posses,     adiuvet  domini  rogum." 
turn  rigida  secum  spolia  Nemeaei  mail 
arsura  poscit  ;  latuit  in  spolio  rogus. 

Jngemuit  omnis  turba  nee  lacrimas  dolor 
cuiquam  remisit.     mater  in  luctum  furens 
diduxit  avidum  pectus  atque  utero  tenus 

So  Gronorius  with  $- :  fvictrice  felix  Leo  with  E :  victure 
felix.  has  enim  numquam  irritas  A  :  his  utere  felix  Peiper  : 
arguing  from  sive  (1653)  Leo  thinks  the  other  alternative  mtist 
have  begun  in  1. 165.1  with  some  such  words  as  sive  eria  in  acie. 

316 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

tree,  quick  to  burn,  the  tough-fibred  oak,  the  ilex 
of  shorter  trunk  ;  but  poplar  wood,  whose  foliage 
adorns  Alcides'  brow,  filled  out  the  pyre. 

1(542  But  he,  like  some  huge,  suffering  lion,  which, 
in  Libyan  forest  lying,  roars  out  his  pain,  hurried 
along, — who  would  suppose  him  hasting  to  the 
flames  ?  His  gaze  was  of  one  who  seeks  the  stars, 
not  fires  of  earth,  when  he  set  foot  on  Oeta  and 
with  his  eyes  surveyed  the  pyre  complete.  The 
great  beams  broke  beneath  him.  Then  for  his 
shafts  and  bow  he  called,  and  said :  "  Take  these, 
thou  son  of  Poeas,  take  them  as  Alcides'  gift  and 
pledge  of  love.  These  did  the  Hydra  feel ;  by 
these  the  StymphaJian  birds  lie  low,  and  all  other 
pests  which  at  distance  I  overcame.  O  youth  with 
valour  blest,  never  in  vain  shalt  thou  send  these 
'gainst  a  foe ;  or  if  birds  from  the  very  clouds  thou 
wouldst  fetch  away,  birds  will  fall  down,  and  out  of 
the  sky  will  thy  shafts,  sure  of  their  prey,  come 
floating;  and  ne'er  will  this  bow  disappoint  thy 
hand.  Well  has  it  learned  to  poise  the  feathered 
shafts  and  unerringly  send  them  flying  ;  while  the 
shafts  themselves,  loosed  from  the  string,  fail  never 
to  find  their  mark.  Only  do  thou,  I  pray,  apply  the 
fire  and  set  the  last  torch  for  me.  Let  this  club," 
he  said,  "  which  no  hand  but  mine  has  wielded,  burn 
in  the  flames  with  me ;  this  weapon  alone  shall 
follow  Hercules.  This  also  shouldst  thou  have," 
said  he,  "  if  thou  couldst  wield  it.  Let  it  add  fuel 
to  its  master's  pyre."  Then  did  he  call  for  the 
Nemean  monster's  shaggy  skin  to  burn  with  him ; 
'neath  the  skin  the  pyre  was  hidden. 

1607  The  whole  throng  set  up  a  lamentation,  and 
sorrow  filled  the  eyes  of  all  with  tears.  His  mother, 
passionate  in  grief,  her  eager  bosom  stript,  and  she 

317 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

exerta  vastos  ubera  in  planctus  ferit,  1670 

superosque  et  ipsum  vocibus  pulsans  lovem 

implevit  omneni  voce  feminea  locum. 

"  deforme  letum,  mater,  Herculeum  facis  ; 

compesce  lacrimas"  inquit,  "  introrsus  dolor 

femineus  abeat.     luno  cur  laetum  diem 

te  flente  ducat?     paelicis  gaudet  suae 

spectare  lacrimas.     comprime  infiraium  iecur, 

mater ;  nefas  est  ubera  atque  uterum  tibi 

laniare,  qui  me  genuit."     et  dirum  fremens, 

qualis  per  urbes  duxit  Argolicas  canem,  1680 

cum  victor  Erebi  Dite  contempto  redit 

tremente  fato,  talis  incubuit  rogo. 

quis  sic  triumphans  laetus  in  curru  stetit 

victor  ?     quis  illo  gentibus  voltu  dedit 

leges  tyrannus  ?     quanta  pax  habitum  tulit ! 

haesere  lacrimae,  cecidit  impulsus  dolor 

nobis  quoque  ipsis,  nemo  periturum  ingemit. 

iam  flere  pudor  est ;  ipsa  quam  sexus  iubet 

maerere,  siccis  haesit  Alcmene  genis 

stetitque  nato  paene  iam  similis  parens.  1690 


CHORVS 

Nullasne  in  astra  misit  ad  superos  preces 
arsurus  aut  in  vota  respexit  lovem  ? 


PHILOCTETES 

lacuit  sui  securus  et  caelum  intuens 
quaesivit  oculis,  parte  an  ex  aliqua  pater 
despiceret  ilium,     turn  manus  tendens  ait : 
"  quacumque  parte  prospicis  natum  pater 
(iste  est  pater,  cui  nocte  commissa  dies 

318 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

smote  her  breasts,  naked  e'en  to  the  waist,  in  endless 
lamentation  ;  and  with  her  cries  assailing  the  gods 
and  Jove  himself,  she  filled  all  the  region  round 
with  womanish  bewailings.  "  Mother/'  he  said, 
"thou  dost  disgrace  the  death  of  Hercules  ;  restrain 
thy  tears  and  confine  thy  womanish  grief  within  thy 
heart.  Why  for  thy  weeping  should  Juno  count  this 
day  joyful  ?  For  she  rejoices  to  see  her  rival's  tears. 
Curb  thy  faint  heart,  my  mother ;  'tis  a  sin  to  tear 
the  breasts  and  the  womb  that  bore  Alcides."  Then 
with  dread  mutterings,  as  when  through  Argive 
towns  he  dragged  the  dog,  what  time,  triumphant 
over  hell,  in  scorn  of  Dis  and  trembling  death  he 
returned  to  earth,  so  did  he  lay  him  down  upon  the 
pyre.  What  victor  ever  stood  in  his  chariot  so  joy- 
fully triumphant?  What  tyrant  king  with  such  a 
countenance  ever  gave  laws  to  nations  ?  How  calmly 
he  bore  his  fate !  Even  our  tears  were  stayed,  griefs 
shock  subsided,  none  grieves  that  he  must  perish. 
Now  were  we  'shamed  to  weep ;  Alcmena,  herself, 
whose  sex  impels  to  mourning,  stood  with  dry  cheeks, 
a  mother  now  well-nigh  equal  to  her  son. 

CHORUS 

Sent  he  no  supplications  heavenward  to  the  gods 
e'er  the  fire  was  lit  ?  Looked  he  not  to  Jove  to  hear 
his  prayers  ? 

PHILOCTETES 

Careless  of  self  he  lay  and,  gazing  at  heaven, 
quested  with  his  eyes  whether  from  any  quarter  his 
sire  looked  down  at  him.  Then,  with  hands  out- 
stretched, he  spoke:  "O  father,  from  what  quarter 
soe'er  thou  lookest  on  thy  son,  (he  truly  is  my 
father,  for  whose  sake  night  joined  with  day  and  one 

319 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quievit  unus),  si  meas  laudes  canit 

utrumque  Phoebi  litus  et  Scythiae  genus 

et  oninis  ardens  ora  quam  torret  dies,  1700 

si  pace  tellus  plena,  si  nullae  gemunt 

urbes  nee  aras  impias  quisquam  inquinat, 

si  scelera  desunt,  spiritum  admitte  hunc  precoi 

in  astra.     non  me  mortis  infernae  locus 

nee  maesta  nigri  regna  conterrent  lovis  ; 

sed  ire  ad  illos  umbra,  quos  vici,  deos, 

pater,  erubesco.     nube  discussa  diem 

pande,  ut  deorum  voltus  ardeiitem  Herculem 

spectet ;  licet  tu  sidera  et  mundum  neges, 

ultro,  pater,  cogere — si  voces  dolor  1710 

abstulerit  ullas,  pande  turn  Stygios  lacus 

et  redde  fatis  ;  approba  natum  prius. 

ut  dignus  astris  videar,  hie  faciet  dies. 

leve  est  quod  actum  est ;  Herculem  hie,  genitor,  dies 

inveniet  aut  damnabit." 

Haec  postquam  edidit,     1715 

flammas  poposcit.     "hoc  age,  Alcidae  comes        1717 
non  segnis  "  inquit  "  corripe  Oetaeam  facem ; 
noverca  cernat  quo  feram  flammas  modo.1  171 6 

quid  dextra  tremuit?  num  manus  pavida  impium  171.9 
scelus  refugit  ?     redde  iam  pharetras  mihi,  1720 

ignave  iners  inermis — en  nostros  manus 
quae  tendat  arcus  !     quid  sedet  pallor  genis? 
animo  faces  invade  quo  Alciden  vides 
voltu  iacere.     respice  arsurum,  miser. 

Vocat  ecce  iam  me  genitor  et  pandit  polos, 
venio,  pater."     voltusque  non  idem  fuit. 
tremente  pinum  dextera  ardentem  impuli ; 2 


1  Leo  deletes  this  line,  with  E :  Richter,  following  Gronovius 
places  it  after  I.  1718. 

2  So  A  :  Leo  impulit  with  E. 

320 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

day  ceased  to  be,)  if  both  the  bounds  of  Phoebus 
sing  my  praise,  the  tribes  of  Scythia  and  every  burn- 
ing strand  which  daylight  parches;  if  peace  fills  all 
the  earth  ;  if  no  cities  groan  and  no  man  stains  with 
sin  his  altar-fires ;  if  crimes  have  ceased,  admit  this 
soul,  I  pray  thee,  to  the  stars.  I  have  no  fear  of  the 
infernal  realm  of  death,  nor  do  the  sad  realms"  of 
dusky  Jove  l  affright  me  ;  but  to  go,  naught  but  a 
shade,  to  those  gods  I  overcame,  O  sire,  I  am 
ashamed.  Dispel  the  clouds,  spread  wide  the  day, 
that  the  eyes  of  gods  may  gaze  on  burning  Hercules. 
Though  thou  deny  me  stars  and  a  place  in  heaven, 
O  sire,  thou  shalt  even  be  compelled — ah !  if  pain 
will  excuse  any  words 2  of  mine,  then  open  the 
Stygian  pools  and  give  me  to  death  again  ;  but  prove 
me  first  thy  son.  This  day  will  make  me  seem 
worthy  ol  the  stars.  Worthless  is  all  that  has  been 
done  ;  this  day,  my  father,  will  bring  Hercules  to 
light  or  doom  him." 

mo  When  lie  had  thus  said,  he  called  for  fire. 
"Up  now,  Alcides'  willing  friend,"  said  he,  "catch 
up  the  Oetaean  torch  ;  let  my  step-dame  see  how  1 
can  bear  the  flames.  Why  did  thy  right  hand 
tremble?  Did  thy  hand  shrink  timid  from  such 
unholy  deed  ?  Then  give  me  my  quiver  back,  thou 
undaring,  unskilled,  un warlike — that  the  hand  to 
bend  my  bow !  Why  do  thy  cheeks  grow  pale  ? 
Come,  seize  on  the  torch  with  courage,  with  face 
thou  seest  on  prone  Alcides.  Poor  soul,  have  sqme 
regard  for  him  who  soon  will  burn. 

1725  But  lo !  now  doth  my  father  call  me  and  he 
opens  heaven.  I  come,  O  sire."  Then  was  his  face 
no  more  the  same.  With  trembling  hand  I  applied 

1  Pluto. 

3  i.e.  the  latest  defiant  word,  "compelled." 

321 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

refugit  ignis  et  reluctantur  faces 

et  membra  vitant,  sed  recedentem  Hercules 

insequitur    ignem.     Caucasum   aut   Pindum   aut 

Athon  1730 

ardere  credas  ;  nullus  erumpit  sonus, 
tantum  ingemescit  ignis,     o  durum  iecur ! 
Typhon  in  illo  positus  immanis  rogo 
gemuisset  ipse  quique  convulsam  solo 
imposuit  umeris  Ossan  Enceladus  ferox. 

At  ille  medias  inter  exurgens  faces, 
semiustus  ac  laniatus,  intrepidum  tuens  : 
"  nunc  es  parens  Herculea  ;  sic  stare  ad  rogum 
te,  mater,"  inquit,  "  sic  decet  fieri  Herculem." 
inter  vapores  positus  et  flammae  minas  1740 

immotus,  inconcussus,  in  neutrum  latus 
correpta  torquens  membra  adhortatur,  monet, 
gerit  aliquid  ardens.     omnibus  fortem  addidit 
animum  ministris  ;  urere  ardentem  putes. 
stupet  omne  volgus,  vix  habent  flammae  fidem, 
tarn  placida  frons  est,  tanta  maiestas  viro. 
nee  properat  uri ;  cumque  iam  forti  datum 
leto  satis  pensavit,  igniferas  trabes 
hinc  inde  traxit,  minima  quas  flamma  occupat, 
totasque  in  ignes  vertit  et  quis  plurimus  1750 

exundat  ignis  repetit  intrepidus  ferox. 
tune  ora  flammis  implet.     ast  illi  graves 
luxere  barbae ;  cumque  iam  voltum  minax 
appeteret  ignis,  lainberent  flammae  caput, 
non  pressit  oculos. — sed  quid  hoc  ?     maestam  intuor 
322 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

the  blazing  pine ;  the  flames  shrunk  back,  the  torch 
resisted  and  would  not  touch  his  limbs ;  but  Hercules 
followed  up  the  shrinking  flames.  Thou  wouldst 
suppose  that  Caucasus  or  Pindus  or  Athos  was 
ablaze ;  no  sound  burst  forth,  save  that  the  fire 
seemed  groaning.  O  stubborn  heart !  Had  huge 
Typhon  been  lying  on  that  pyre,  he  would  have 
groaned  aloud,  and  fierce  Enceladus  who  upon  his 
shoulders  bore  Ossa,  uptorn  from  earth. 

1736  But  Hercules,  midst  roaring  flames  upstarting, 
all  charred  and  mangled,  gazed  dauntless  round  and 
cried  :  "  Now  art  thou  parent  true  of  Hercules  ;  thus 
'tis  meet  that  thou  shouldst  stand,  my  mother, 
beside  the  pyre,  and  thus  'tis  meet  that  Hercules  be 
mourned."  Midst  scorching  heat  and  threat'ning 
flames,  unmoved,  unshaken,  to  neither  side  turning 
his  tortured  limbs,  he  encourages,  advises,  is  active 
still,  though  all  aflame.  To  all  his  ministrants  stout- 
ness of  soul  he  gives  ;  you  would  deem  him  all  on 
fire  to  burn.  The  whole  crowd  stands  in  speechless 
wonder  and  the  flames  have  scarce  belief,1  so  calm 
his  brow,  the  hero  so  majestic.  Nor  does  he  speed 
his  burning ;  but  when  now  he  deemed  that  courage 
enough  had  been  shown  in  death,  from  every  side  he 
dragged  the  burning  logs  which  the  fire  least  fed 
upon,  and  into  that  blazing  mass  he  strode  and 
sought  where  the  flames  leaped  highest,  all  unafraid, 
defiant.  Awhile  he  feasted  his  eyes  upon  the  fires. 
But  now  his  heavy  beard  burned  bright ;  and  even 
when  threat'ning  fire  assailed  his  face  and  the  hot 
tongues  licked  about  his  head,  he  did  not  close  his 
eyes. — But  what  is  this  ?  I  see  the  sad  mother 


1  The  people  hardly  believed  that  the  fire  was  real. 

323 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

sinu  gerentem  reliquias  magm  Herculis  l 
crinemque  iactans  squalid um  Alcmene  gemit. 

ALCMENA 

Timete,  superi,  fata  !  tarn  parvus  cinis 
Herculeus,  hue  hue  ille  deerevit  gigans  ! 
o  quanta.  Titan,  ad  nihil  moles  abit !  1760 

anilis,  heu  me,  recipit  Alciden  sinus, 
hie  tumulus  illi  est.     ecce  vix  totam  Hercules 
complevit  urnam  ;  quam  leve  est  pondus  mihi, 
cui  totus  aether  pondus  incubuit  leve. 
ad  Tartara  olim  regnaque,  o  nate,  ultima 
rediturus  ibas  — quando  ab  inferna  Styge 
remeabis  iterum  ?     non  ut  et  spolium  trahas 
rursusque  Theseus  debeat  lucem  tibi — 
sed  quando  solus  ?     mundus  impositus  tuas 
compescet  umbras  teque  Tartareus  canis  1770 

inhibere  poterit  ?     quando  Taenarias  fores 
pulsabis,  aut  quas  mater  ad  fauces  agar 
qua  mors  aditur  ?     vadis  ad  manes  iter 
habiturus  unum.     quid  diem  questu  tero  ? 
quid  misera  duras  vita?     quid  lucem  tenes? 
quern  parere  rursus  Herculem  possum  lovi  ? 
quis  me  parentem  natus  Alcmenen  suam 
tantus  vocabit  ?     o  nimis  felix  nimis, 
Thebane  coniunx,  Tartan  intrasti  loca 
florente  nato  teque  venientem  inferi  1780 

timuere  forsan,  quod  pater  tantum  Herculis, 

1  Leo  deletes  II.  1755,  1756,  Richter  1755-1757:  the  last  part 
of  the  speech  of  Philoctetes  is  supposed  to  have  fallen  out. 

324 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

bearing  in  her  bosom  the  remains  of  great  Alcides, 
and  Alcmena,  tossing  her  squalid  locks,  bewails  her 
son. 

[Enter  ALCMFNA,  carrying  in  her  bosom  a  funeral  urn.] 

ALCMENA 

Fear  ye  the  fates,  O  powers  above  !  (Holding  up 
the  urn.}  See  the  scant  dust  of  Hercules — to  this, 
to  this  has  that  mighty  body  shrunk  !  O  Sun,  how 
great  a  mass  has  passed  away  to  nothingness !  Ah 
me,  this  aged  breast  can  hold  Alcides,  this  is  a  tomb 
for  him.  See,  Hercules  has  scarce  filled  all  the  urn; 
how  light  for  me  his  weight  upon  whose  shoulders 
the  whole  heavens  as  a  light  weight  rested.  Once  to 
the  farthest  realms  of  Tartarus,  O  son,  didst  thou  go 
but  to  return — Oh,  when  from  infernal  Styx  wilt 
thou  come  again  ?  Not  in  such  wise  as  to  bring  e'en 
spoil  with  thee,  nor  that  Theseus  again  may  owe 
thee  the  light  of  day, — but  when,  though  all  alone? 
Will  the  whole  world,  heaped  on  thee,  hold  thy 
shade,  or  the  hell-hound  avail  to  keep  thee  back? 
When  wilt  thou  batter  down  the  Taenarian  *  gates, 
or  to  what  yawning  jaws  shall  thy  mother  betake 
herself,  where  is  the  approach  to  death  ?  Thou 
takest  tliy  journey  to  the  dead,  and  'twill  be  thy 
only  one.  Why  do  I  waste  time  in  wailing?  W7hy 
dost  endure,  O  wretched  life  ?  Why  clingest  to  the 
light  ?  What  Hercules  can  I  again  bring  forth  to 
Jove  ?  What  son  so  great  will  call  me  mother,  will 
call  me  his  Alcmena  ?  Oh,  too,  too  happy  thou,  my 
Theban  husband,2  for  thou  to  the  realms  of  Tartarus 
didst  descend,  thy  son  still  living  ;  at  thy  approach 
the  internal  ones,  perchance,  were  filled  with  fear, 
merely  because  thou  wast  the  sire  of  Hercules,  even 
1  See  Index  a.v.  "  Taenarus."  *  Amphitryon. 

S25 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

vel  falsus,  aderas — quas  petam  terras  anus, 

invisa  saevis  regibus,  si  quis  tamen 

rex  est  relictus  saevus  ?     ei  miserae  mihi  1 

quicurnque  caesos  ingemit  natus  patres, 

a  me  petet  supplicia,  me  cuncti  obruent. 

si  quis  minor  Busiris  aut  si  quis  minor 

Antaeus  orbem  fervidae  terret  plagae, 

ego  praeda  ducar  ;  si  quis  Ismarius  greges 

Thracis  cruenti  vindicat,  carpent  greges  1790 

rnea  membra  diri.     forsitan  poenas  petet 

irata  luno  ;  totus  hue  verget l  dolor  ; 

secura  victo  tandem  ab  Alcide  vacat, 

paelex  supersum — a  quanta  supplicia  expetet 

ne  parere  possim  !     fecit  hie  natus  mihi 

uterum  timendum. 

Quae  petam  Alcmene  loca  ? 
quis  me  locus,  quae  regio,  quae  mundi  plaga 
defendet  aut  quas  mater  in  latebras  agar 
ubique  per  te  nota  ?     sic  patriam  petam 
laresque  miseros  ?     Argos  Eurystheus  tenet.         1800 
niarita  Thebas  regna  et  Ismenon  petam 
thalamosque  nostros,  in  quibus  quondam  lovem 
dilecta  vidi  ?     pro  nimis  felix,  nimis, 
si  fulminantem  et  ipsa  sensissem  lovem  ! 
utinam  meis  visceribus  Alcides  foret 
exectus  infans !      nunc  datum  est  tempus,  datum  est 
videre  natum  laude  certantem  lovi, 
ut  et  hoc  daretur,  scire  quid  fatum  mihi 
eripere  posset. 

1  So  Richter  with  N.  Heinsiua :  Leo  reads  furetur  with  &, 
and  conjectures  exurget. 

326 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

though    falsely    called. — What    lands  shall  an   aired 

O  •' 

woman  seek,  hated  by  savage  kings,  if  spite  of  all 
any  savage  king  is  left  alive  ?  Oh,  woe  is  me  !  All 
sons1  who  lament  their  murdered  sires  will  seek 
revenge  from  me  ;  they  all  will  overwhelm  me.  If 
any  young  Busiris  or  if  any  young  Antaeus  terrifies 
the  region  of  the  burning  zone,2  I  shall  be  led  off  as 
booty;  if  any  Ismarian  3  seeks  revenge  for  the  herds 
of  the  bloody  king 4  of  Thrace,  upon  my  limbs 
will  his  horrid  herds  be  fed.  Juno,  perchance,  in 
anger  will  seek  revenge  ;  against  me  will  the  whole 
force  of  her  wrath  incline  ;  though  her  soul  is  no 
more  disturbed  by  Alcides,  o'ercome  at  last,  I,  the 
concubine,  am  left — ah  !  what  punishments  will  she 
inflict,  lest  I  be  again  a  mother  !  This  son  has  made 
my  womb  a  thing  of  fear. 

1796  Whither  shall  Alcmena  flee?  What  place, 
what  region,  what  quarter  of  the  world  will  take  my 
part,  or  to  what  hiding-place  shall  thy  mother  betake 
herself,  known  everywhere  through  thee  ?  Shall  I 
seek  my  fatherland  and  my  wretched  home  ? 
Eurystheus  is  king  at  Argos.  Shall  I  seek  Thebes, 
my  husband's  kingdom,  the  Ismenus  and  my  bridal 
chamber,  where  once,  greatly  beloved  by  him,  I 
looked  on  Jove  ?  Oh,  happy,  far  too  happy  had  I 
been,  if  I  myself,  too,5  had  known  Jove's  thunder- 
bolt !  Oh,  would  that  from  my  womb  the  infant 
Alcides  had  been  ripped  !  But  now  was  the  chance 
given  me,  yea  'twas  given  to  see  my  son  vying  in 
praise  with  Jove,  that  this,  too,  might  be  given  me — 
to  know  of  how  much  fate  had  power  to  rob  me. 

1  i.e.  whose  fathers  Hercules  has  slain. 
3  Both  these  enemies  of  Hercules  had  lived  in  Africa. 
3  i.e.  Thracian.         4  Diomedes. 
She  is  thinking  of  the  experience  of  Semele. 

327 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Quis  memor  vivet  tui, 

o  nate,  populus?    omne  iam  ingratum  est  genus.  1810 
petam  Cleonas  ?     Arcadum  populos  petam 
meritisque  terras  nobiles  quaeram  tuis  ? 
hie  dira  serpens  cecidit,  hie  ales  fera, 
hie  rex  cruentus,  hie  tua  fractus  manu 
qui  te  sepulto  possidet  caelum  leo. 
si  grata  terra  est,  populus  Alcmenen  tuam 
defendat  omnis.     Thracias  gentes  petam 
Hebrique  populos  ?     haec  quoque  est  meritis  tuis 
defensa  tell  us  ;  stabula  cum  regno  iacent. 
hie  pax  cruento  rege  prostrate  data  est ;  1820 

ubi  enim  negata  est  ? 

Quod  tibi  infelix  anus 
quaeram  sepulchrum  ?     de  tuis  totus  rogis 
contendat  orbis.     reliquias  magni  Herculis 
quis  populus  aut  quae  templa,  quae  gentes  rogant  ? 
quis,  quis  petit,  quis  poscit  Alcmenes  onus  ? 
quae  tibi  sepulchra,  nate,  quis  tumulus  sat  est  ? 
hie  totus  orbis ;  fama  erit  titulus  tibi. 
quid,  anime,  trepidas  ?     Herculis  cineres  tenes  ; 
complectere  ossa;  reliquiae  auxilium  dabunt, 
erunt  satis  praesidia,  terrebunt  tuae  1830 

reges  vel  umbrae. 

HYLLVS 

Debitos  nato  quidem 
compesce  fletus,  mater  Alcidae  incluti. 
non  est  gemendus  nee  gravi  urgendus  prece, 

1  Lerna.  *  The  Stymphalian  bird. 

328 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

1809  What  people  will  live  mindful  of  thee,  O  son  ? 
Now  is  the  whole  race  ungrateful.  Shall  I  seek 
Cleonae  ?  seek  the  Arcadian  tribes  and  hunt  out  the 
lands  made  famous  by  thy  righteous  toils  ?  Here  1 
fell  the  serpent  dire,  here  the  bird-monster,2  here  3 
fell  a  bloody  king,  and  here  4  by  thy  hand  subdued, 
the  lion  fell,  who,  while  thou  liest  buried  here,  holds 
a  place  in  heaven.  If  earth  is  grateful,  let  every 
people  shield  thine  Alcmena.  Shall  I  go  to  the 
Thracian  peoples,  and  to  Hebrus'  tribes?  for  this 
land,  too,  was  defended  by  thy  toils  ;  low  do  the 
stables5  with  the  kingdom  lie.  Here  peace  was 
granted  when  the  bloody  king  was  overthrown ;  for 
where  has  it  not  been  granted  ? 

is^i  What  tomb  for  thee  shall  a  luckless  old  woman 
seek?  Let  the  whole  world  contend  for  thy  remains. 
The  ashes  of  mighty  Hercules,  what  people  or  what 
temples,  what  races  desire  to  have  ?  Who  then,  who 
seeks,  who  demands  Alcmena's  burden b  ?  What 
sepulchre,  O  son,  what  tomb  is  great  enough  for 
thee?  Thy  tomb  is  the  whole  wide  world,  and  fame 
shall  be  thine  epitaph.  Why,  soul  of  mine,  art  fear- 
ful ?  Thou  holdst  the  dust  of  Hercules;  embra'ce 
his  bones  ;  his  mere  dust  will  bring  thee  aid,  will  be 
defence  enough  ;  even  thy  ghost  will  cause  kings  to 
tremble. 

HYLLUS    \who   seems    to    have   been   present   during  the 

preceding  scene\ 

Though  truly  they  are  due  thy  son,  restrain  thy 
tears,  mother  of  Alcides  the  illustrious.  He  is 
neither  to  be  mourned  nor  pursued  with  grievous 

3  Egypt,  Thrace,  or  Libya,  according  as  Busiris,  Diomedw, 
or  Antaeus  is  in  her  mind.        4  Neniea.       6  i.e.  of  DiomeJes. 
8  i.e.  the  urn  containing  the  ashes  of  Hercules. 

329 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

virtute  quisquis  abstulit  fatis  iter ; 
aeterna  virtus  Herculem  fieri  vetat. 
fortes  vetant  maerere,  degeneres  iubent.1 

ALCMENA 

Sedabo  questus  vindice  arnisso  parens  ? 

HYLLVS 

Terra  atque  pelagus  quaque  purpureus  dies 
utrurnque  clara  spectat  Oceanum  rota2 

ALCMENA 

Quot  misera  in  uno  condidi  natos  parens  !         1840 
regno  carebam,  regna  sed  poteram  dare, 
unu  inter  omnes  terra  quas  inatres  gerit 
votis  perperci,  nil  ego  a  su peris  peti 
iiicolume  nato  ;  quid  dare  Herculeus  mihi 
non  poterat  ardor  ?     quis  deus  quicquam  mihi 
negare  poterat  ?     vota  in  hac  fuerant  manu  ; 
quidquid  negaret  luppiter,  daret  Hercules, 
quid  tale  genetrix  ulla  mortalis  tulit  ? 
deriguit  aliqua  mater  ut  toto  stetit 
succisa  fetu  bisque  septenos  gregem  18.50 

deplanxit  una  ;  gregibus  aequari  meus 
quot  ille  poterat  ?     matribus  miseris  adhuc 
exemplar  ingens  derat — Alcmene  dabo. 
cessate,  matres,  pertinax  si  quas  dolor 
adhuc  iubet  lugere,  quas  luctus  gravis 
in  saxa  vertit ;  cedite  his  cunctae  malis. 
agedum  senile  pectus,  o  miserae  nianus, 
pulsate — et  una  funeri  tan  to  sat  es, 

1  Leo  deletes  this  lint. 

-  Evidently  there  is  a  lacuna  following  this  line.     LAO  $ug- 
<jLnts:  (non  sola  raaeres)  vindice  amisso  dolent. 

.S30 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

prayers,  whoe'er  by  his  valour  hath  halted  the  march 
of  fate ;  his  deathless  valour  forbids  to  weep  for 
Hercules.  Brave  men  forbid  to  mourn,  cowards 
command. 

ALCMENA 

When  her  deliverer  is  lost,  shall  a  mother  abate 
her  grief? 

HYLLUS 

Both  land  and  sea  and  where  the  shining  sun  from 
his  bright  car  looks  down  upon  both  oceans,  (not 
thou  alone  dost  grieve)  all  mourn  for  their  lost 
deliverer.1 

ALCMENA 

How  many  sons  has  his  wretched  mother  buried 
in  him  alone  !  Kingdom  I  lacked,  yet  kingdoms 
could  I  give.  I  only,  midst  all  the  mothers  whom 
the  earth  contains,  refrained  from  prayer ;  naught 
from  the  gods  I  asked,  while  my  son  remained ;  for 
what  could  the  love  of  Hercules  not  grant  to  me  ? 
What  god  could  deny  me  aught  ?  In  my  own  hands 
were  the  answers  to  my  prayers ;  whatever  Jove 
denied,  Hercules  could  bestow.  What  son  like  this 
has  a  mortal  mother  borne  ?  Once  a  mother 2 
stiffened  into  stone  when,  stripped  of  her  whole 
brood,  she  stood  and,  one  alone,  lamented  her  twice 
seven  children  ;  but  to  how  many  broods  like  hers 
could  my  son  be  compared  ?  Till  now  for  mother's 
grief  a  measure  vast  enough  was  lacking — Alcmena 
will  furnish  it.  Then  cease,  ye  mothers,  whom 
persistent  woe  still  bids  to  mourn,  whom  crushing 
sorrow  has  transformed  to  stone ;  yield  ye,  yea,  all  of 
you,  to  these  my  woes.  Then  come,  beat  on  this 
aged  breast,  O  wretched  hands, — and  canst  thou  alone 

1  Translating  Leo's  conjecture.  2  Niobe. 

331 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

grandaeva  anus  defecta,  quam  totus  brevi 
lain  quaeret1  orbis  ?     expedi  in  planctus  tamen  I860 
defessa  quamquam  bracchia  ;  invidiam  ut  dels 
lugendo  facias,  advoca  in  planctus  genus. 

Ite  Alcmenae  magnique  lovis 
plangite  natum,  cui  concepto 
lux  una  peril  noctesque  duas 
contulit  Eos  :  ipsa  quiddam 
plus  luce  perit. 
totae  pariter  plangite  gentes, 
quarum  saevos  ille  tyrannos 
iussit  Stygias  penetrare  domos  1870 

populisque  madens  ponere  ferrum. 
tietum  meritis  reddite  tantis, 
totus,  totus  personet  orbis. 
fleat  Alciden  caerula  Crete, 
magno  tellus  cara  Tonanti  ; 
centum  po]vuli  bracchia  pulsent ; 
nunc  Curetes,  nunc  Corybantes 
arma  Idaea  quassate  manu  ; 
armis  ilium  lugere  decet  ; 
nunc,  nunc  funus  plangite  verum  ;          1880 
iacet  Alcides  non  minor  ipso, 
Creta,  Tonante. 

flete  Herculeos,  Arcades,  obitus, 
nondum  Phoebe  nascente  genus  ; 
iuga  Parthenii  Nemeaeque  2  sonent 
feriatque  graves  Maenala  planctus. 
magno  Alcidae  poscit  gemitum 

1  Leo   fiam   quaeret   with    E,    and   conjectures   iam   totus 
brevi  |  concurret   orbis  :    sequetur   N.    Heinsiu* :   conveniet 
Koe.fschau :  iam  peraget  Richter. 

2  j  Nemeaeque    Leo  with  u:   Tegeaeque    de     Wilamowitz: 
Pheneique  Richter. 

332 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

suffice  for  loss  so  vast,  an  aged  spent  old  woman  ? 
Soon  will  the  whole  world  unite  to  mourn  with 
thee.1  Yet  raise  thy  arms,  however  weary,  in 
lamentation ;  that  by  thy  grief  thou  mayst  stir 
envy  in  the  gods,  summon  the  whole  race  of  men 
unto  thy  mourning. 

[Here  follows  ALCMENA'S  formal  song  of  mourning 
accompanied  by  the  usual  Oriental  gestures  of 
lamentation] 

1863  Come  ye,  bewail  Alcmena's  son  and  mighty 
Jove's,  for  whose  conception  one  day  was  lost  and 
lingering  dawn  joined  two  nights  in  one  ;  something 
greater  than  the  day  itself  is  lost.  Together  lament, 
ye  nations  all,  whose  cruel  tyrants  he  bade  descend 
to  the  abodes  of  Styx  and  lay  down  the  sword, 
reeking  with  blood  of  peoples.  To  such  deserts  pay 
tribute  of  your  tears  ;  let  all,  yea  all  the  world  echo 
to  your  laments.  Alcides  let  sea-girt  Crete  bewail, 
land  to  the  great  Thunderer  dear ;  let  its  hundred 
peoples  beat  upon  their  arms.  Now  Cretans,  now 
priests  of  Cybele,  with  your  hands  clash  Ida's 
cymbals ;  'tis  meet  that  with  arms  ye  mourn  him. 
Now,  now  make  him  just  funeral  ;  low  lies  Alcides, 
equal,  O  Crete,  to  the  Thunderer  himself.  Weep 
for  Alcides'  passing,  O  Arcadians,  who  were  a  people 
ere  yet  the  moon  was  born  ;  let  Parthenius'  heights 
and  Nemea's  hills  resound  and  Maenalus  smite  heavy 
blows  of  grief.  The  bristly  boar,  within  your  fields 
laid  low,  demands  lament  for  great  Alcides,  and  the 

1  Translating  Leo's  conjecture,     See  critical  note  1. 

333 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

stratus  vestris  saetiger  agris 

alesque  sequi  iussa  sagittas 

totum  pinna  velante  diem.  1890 

flete  Argolicae,  flete,  Cleonae  ; 

hie  terrentem  moenia  quondam 

vestra  leonem  fregit  nostri 

dextera  nati ;  date  Bistoniae 

verbera  matres  gelidusque  sonet 

planctibus  Hebrus  ;  flete  Alciden, 

quod  non  stabulis  nascitur  infans 

nee  vestra  greges  viscera  carpunt. 

fleat  Antaeo  libera  tellus 

et  rapta  fero  plaga  Geryonae  ;  1900 

mecum  miserae  plangite  gentes, 

audiat  ictus  utraque  Tethys. 

Vos  quoque,  mundi  turba  citati, 
flete  Herculeos,  numina,  casus ; 
vestrum  Alcides  cervice  meus 
mundum,  superi,  caelumque  tulit, 
cum  stelligeri  vector  Olympi 
pondere  liber  spiravit  Atlans. 
ubi  nunc  vestrae,  luppiter,  arces  ? 
ubi  promissi  regia  mundi  ?  1910 

nempe  Alcides  mortalis  obit, 
nempe  sepultus.     quotiens  telis 
facibusque  tuis  ille  pepercit, 
quotiens  ignis  spargendus  erat ! 
in  me  saltern  iaculare  facem 
Semelenque  puta. 

lamne  Rlysias,  o  nate,  domus, 
iam  litus  habes  ad  quod  populos 
natura  vocat  ? 

an  post  raptum  Styx  atra  canem 
praeclusit  iter  teque  in  primo  1920 

limine  Ditis  fata  moraiitur  ? 

334 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

huge  bird  whose  wings  hid  all  the  sky,  challenged  l 
to  meet  his  shafts.  Weep,  Argive  Cleonae,  weep  ; 
here  long  ago  the  lion  who  kept  your  walls  in  fear 
my  son's  right  hand  destroyed.  Ye  Bistonian  dames, 
beat  your  breasts,  and  let  cold  Hebrus  resound  to 
your  beatings  ;  weep  for  Alcides,  for  no  more  are 
your  children  born  for  the  stalls,2  nor  your  offspring 
as  food  for  the  herds.  Weep  thou,  O  land  from 
Antaeus  delivered,  ye  regions  from  fierce  Geryon 
saved ;  yea,  with  me,  ye  unhappy  nations,  lament ; 
let  both  seas 3  re-echo  your  beatings. 

1903  YOU  too,  ye  thronging  deities  of  the  whirling 
heavens,  bewail  Hercules'  fate ;  for  my  Alcides  bore 
your  heavens  upon  his  shoulders,  your  sky,  ye  gods 
above,  when  Atlas,  starry  Olympus'  prop,  was  eased 
of  his  load  awhile.  Where  now  are  thy  heights, 
O  Jove?  Where  is  the  promised4  palace  in  the  sky? 
Alcides,  mortal,  is  dead !  mortal,  is  buried !  How 
oft  did  he  save  thee  thy  lightnings,  how  seldom  thy 
fire  needed  hurling  !  5  Against  me  at  least  brandish 
thy  lightning,  and  deem  me  Semele. 

1916  And  now,  O  son,  holdst  thou  the  Elysian  seats, 
holdst  now  the  shore  whither  nature  calls  all  peoples? 
Or  after  the  dog  was  stolen  has  the  dark  Styx 
barred  thy  way,  and  on  the  very  threshold  of  Dis  do 
the  fates  delay  thee  ?  What  confusion  now,  my 

1  Hercules  roused  the  bird  from  its  Stymphalian  lair  by 
the  noise  of  a  great  rattle.  9  i.e.  of  Diomedes. 

3  i.e.  the  eastern  and  western  limits  of  the  sea. 

4  Jove  had  promised  Hercules  a  place  in  heaven. 

6  i.e.  Hercules  had  taken  upon  himself  the  punishment  of 
sinful  men. 

335 


THE   TRAGEDIES  OF   SENECA 

quis  nunc  umbras,  nate,  turaultus 

manesque  tenet? 

fu«>it  abducta  navita  cumba 

et  Centauris  Thessala  motis 

ferit  attonitos  ungula  manes 

anguesque  suos  hydra  sub  undas 

territa  mersit  teque  labores, 

o  nate,  timent  ? 

fallor,  fallor  vaesana  furens  !  1930 

nee  te  manes  umbraeque  timent, 

non  Ar«£olico  rapta  leoni 

fulva  pellis  contecta  iuba 

laevos  operit  dira  lacertos 

vallantque  ferae  tempora  dentes  ; 

donum  pharetrae  cessere  tuae 

telaque  mittet  iam  dextra  minor. 

vadis  inermis,  nate,  per  umbras, 

ad  quas  semper  mansurus  eris. 

vox  HERCVL, 

Quid  me  tenentem  regna  siderei  poll  194-0 

caeloque  tandem  redditum  planctu  iubes 
sentire  fatum  ?     parce  ;  iam  virtus  mihi 
in  astra  et  ipsos  fecit  ad  superos  iter. 

ALCMENA 

Vnde,  unde  sonus  trepidas  aures 
ferit  ?  unde  meas  inhibet  lacrimas 
fragor  ?  agnosco  victum  esse  cliaos. 

A  Styge,  nate,  redis  iterum  mihi 
fractaque  non  semel  est  mors  horrida? 
vicisti  rursus  mortis  loca 
puppis  et  infernae  vada  tristia?  1950 

336 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

son,  seizes  the  shadowy  spirits  ?  Does  the  boatman 
draw  away  his  skiff  in  flight  ?  Do  Thessalian 
Centaurs  with  flying  hoofs  smite  the  affrighted 
ghosts  ?  Does  the  hydra  in  terror  plunge  his  snaky 
heads  beneath  the  waves  and  do  thy  toils  all  fear 
thee,  O  my  son?  Fooled,  fooled  am  I,  distracted,  mad! 
Nor  ghosts  nor  shadows  are  afraid  of  thee  ;  the  fear- 
some pelt,  stripped  from  the  Argolic  lion,  with  its 
tawny  mane  shields  thy  left  arm  no  more,  and  its 
savage  teeth  hedge  not  thy  temples  ;  thy  quiver 
thou  hast  given  away  and  now  a  lesser  hand  will 
aim  thy  shafts.  Unarmed,  my  son,  thou  farest 
through  the  shades,  and  with  them  forever  shalt 
thou  abide. 


THE    VOICE    OF    HERCULES  [from 

Why,  since  I  hold  the  realms  of  starry  heaven  and 
at  last  have  attained  the  skies,  dost  by  lamentation 
bid  me  taste  of  death  ?  Give  o'er  ;  for  now  has  my 
valour  borne  me  to  the  stars  and  to  the  gods  them- 
selves. 

ALCMENA  [bewildered.] 

Whence,  oh,  whence  falls  that  sound  upon  my 
startled  ears  ?  Whence  do  the  thunderous  tones  bid 
check  my  weeping  ?  Now  know  I  that  chaos  has 
been  o'ercome. 

1947  From  the  Styx,  O  son,  art  come  again  to  me  ? 
Broken  a  second  time  is  the  power  of  grisly  death  ? 
Hast  escaped  once  more  death's  stronghold  and  the 
infernal  skiff's  dark  pools?  Is  Acheron's  wan  stream 

337 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

pervius  est  Acheron  iam  languidus 

et  remeare  licet  soli  tibi 

nee  te  fata  tenent  post  funera  ? 

an  tibi  praeclusit  Pluton  iter 

et  pavidus  regni  metuit  sibi  ? 

certe  ego  te  vidi  flagrantibus 

impositum  silvis,  cum  plurimus 

in  caelum  fureret  flammae  metus. 

arsisti — cur  te,  cur  ultima 

non  tenuere  tuas  umbras  loca  ?  I960 

quid  timuere  tui  manes  precor  ? 

umbra  quoque  es  Diti  nimis  horrida  ? 

HERCVLES 

Non  me  gementis  stagna  Cocyti  tenent 
nee  puppis  umbras  furva  transvexit  meas ; 
iam  parce,  mater,  questibus  ;  manes  semel 
umbrasque  vidi.     quidquid  in  nobis  tui 
mortale  fuerat,  ignis  evictus  tulit ; 
paterna  caelo,  pars  data  est  flammis  tua. 
proinde  planctus  pone,  quos  nato  paret 
genetrix  inerti.     luctus  in  turpes  eat ;  1970 

virtus  in  astra  tendit,  in  mortem  timor. 
praesens  ab  astris,  mater,  Alcides  cano : 
poenas  cruentus  iam  tibi  Eurystheus  dabit ; 
curru  superbum  vecta  transcendes  caput. 
me  iam  decet  subire  caelestem  plagam ; 
inferna  vici  rursus  Alcides  loca. 
338 


HERCULES    OETAEUS 

retraceable  and  mayst  thou  alone  recross  it  ?  And 
after  thy  death  do  the  fates  hold  thee  no  more  ? 
Has  Pluto  barred  thy  way,  and  trembling  feared  for 
his  own  sovereignty?  Surely  upon  the  blazing  logs 
I  saw  thee  laid,  when  the  vast,  fearful  flames  raged 
to  the  sky.  Thou  wast  consumed — why,  why  did  the 
bottomless  abyss  not  gain  thy  shade  ?  What  part  of 
thee  did  the  ghosts  fear,  I  pray  ?  Is  e'en  thy  shade 
too  terrible  for  Dis  ? 


HERCULES  [his  form  now  taking  shape  in  the  air  above,] 

The  pools  of  groaning  Cocytus  hold  me  not,  nor 
has  the  dark  skiff  borne  o'er  my  shade  ;  then  cease 
thy  laments,  my  mother ;  once  and  for  all  have  I 
seen  the  shadowy  ghosts.  Whate'er  in  me  was  mortal 
and  of  thee,  the  vanquished  flame  has  borne  away1 
my  father's  part  to  heaven,  thy  part  to  the  flames  has 
been  consigned.  Cease  then  thy  lamentations  which 
to  a  worthless  son  might  well  be  given.  Let  tears 
for  the  inglorious  flow  ;  valour  fares  starward,  fear,  to 
the  realm  of  death.  In  living  presence,  mother, 
from  the  stars  Alcides  speaks;  soon  shall  bloody 
Eurystheus  make  thee  full  recompense;  o'er  his 
proud  head  shalt  thou  in  triumph  ride.  But  now  'tis 
meet  that  I  pass  to  the  realm  above  ;  Alcides  once 
again  has  conquered  hell. 

[He  vanishes  from  sight.] 

1  Both  text  and  meaning  are  doubtful  here.  The  sense  seems 
to  be  that  though  the  mortal  part  of  Hercules  has  been 
consumed  by  the  flames,  they  have  in  reality  been  vanquished 
by  his  spirit. 

339 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ALCMENA 

Mane  parumper — cessit  ex  oculis,  abit, 
in  astra  fertur.     fallor  an  voltus  putat 
vidisse  natum  ?     misera  mens  incredula  est — 
es  numen  et  te  mundus  aeternum  tenet ;  1980 

credo  triumphis. 

Regna  Thebarum  petara 
novumque  templis  additum  numen  canam. 

CHORV8 

Numquam  Stygias  fertur  ad  umbras 
inclita  virtus,     vivunt  fortes 
nee  Lethaeos  saeva  per  amnes 
vos  fata  trahent,  sed  cum  sunimas 
exiget  horas  consumpta  dies, 
iter  ad  superos  gloria  pandet. 

Sed  tu,  domitor  magne  ferarum 
orbisque  simul  pacator,  ades  ;  1990 

nunc  quoque  nostras  respice  terras, 
et  si  qua  novo  belua  voltu 
quatiet  populos  terrore  gravi, 
tu  fulminibus  frange  trisulcis — 
fortius  ipso  genitore  tuo 
fulmina  mitte. 


HERCULES   OETAEUS 

ALCMENA 

Stay  but  a  little  ! — he  has  vanished  from  my  sight, 
is  gone,  to  the  stars  faring.  Am  I  deceived  or  do  my 
eyes  but  deem  they  saw  my  son?  My  soul  for  very 
grief  cannot  believe  it. — But  no  !  thou  art  divine, 
and  deathless  the  heavens  possess  thee.  In  thy 
triumphant  entrance  I  believe. 

1981  New-  will  1  take  me  to  the  realm  of  Thebes  and 
there  proclaim  the  new  god  added  to  their  temples. 

[Exit. 

CHORUS 

Never  to  Stygian  shades  is  glorious  valour  borne. 
The  brave  live  on,  nor  shall  the  cruel  fates  bear  you 
o'er  Lethe's  waters  ;  but  when  the  last  day  shall 
bring  the  final  hour,  glory  will  open  wide  the  path 
to  heaven. 

1989  But  do  thou,  O  mighty  conqueror  of  beasts, 
peace-bringer  to  the  world,  be  with  us  yet ;  still  as 
of  old  regard  this  earth  of  ours  ;  and  if  some  strange  - 
visaged  monster  cause  us  with  dire  fear  to  tremble^ 
do  thou  o'ercome  him  with  the  forked  thunder- 
bolts— yea,  more  mightily  than  thy  father's  self  the 
thunders  hurl. 


341 


PHOENISSAE 


DRAMATIS    PERSON AE 


OEDIPUS,  late,  king  of  Thtbes. 

ANTIGONE,  daughter  of  Oedipus,  constant  to  him  in  his  mis- 
fortunes. 

JOCASTA,  ivife  and  mother  of  Oedipus. 

POLYNICES,^ 

}-  sons  of  Oedijnts  and  rivals  for  the  throne. 
ETEOCLES,  J 

MESSENGER. 

THE  SCENE  is  laid,  first  in  the  wild  country  to  which 
Oedipus,  accompanied  by  Antigone,  has  betaken  himself; 
then  in  Thebes  ;  and  lastly  in  the  plain  before  Thebes. 

THE  TIME  is  three  years  after  the  downfall  of  Oedipus. 


ARGUMENT 

THE  stroke  of  fate,  that  has  been  threatening  Oedipus 
since  long  before  his  birth,  has  fallen  at  last,  and  he  has 
.done  the  thing  he  feared  to  do.  And  now,  self-blinded 
and  self-exiled  from  his  land,  he  has  for  three  years 
wandered  in  rough  and  trackless  places,  attended  by 
Antigone,  his  daughter,  who,  alone  of  all  his  friends,  has 
condoned  his  fated  sins  and  remained  attached  to  him. 

Meanwhile  his  sons,  though  they  agreed  to  reign  alter- 
nate years,  are  soon  to  meet  in  deadly  strife  ;  for  Etcocles, 
although  his  year  of  royal  power  is  at  an  end,  refuses  to 
give  up  the  throne  ;  and  now  Polynices,  who  has  in  exile 
wed  the  daughter  of  Adrastus,  king  of  Argos,  is  march- 
ing against  the  gates  of  Thebes,  with  seven  great  armies 
to  enforce  his  rights. 

[By  a  different  version  from  the  "  Oedipus,"  Jocasta 
did  not  slay  herself  at  once  as  in  that  tale,  but  still  is 
living  on  in  grief  and  shame,  and  strives  to  reconcile  her 
sons.] 


PHOENISSAE 


OEDIPVS 

CAECI  parentis  regimen  et  fessi  unicum 
lateris  levamen,  nata,  quam  tanti  est  mihi 
genuisse  vel  sic,  desere  infaustum  patrem. 
in  recta  quid  deflectis  errantem  gradum  ? 
permitte  labi  ;  melius  inveniam  viam, 
quam  quaero,  solus,  quae  me  ab  hac  vita  extrahat 
et  hoc  nefandi  capitis  aspectu  levet 
caelum  atque  terras,     quantulum  hac  egi  manu  ? 
11011  video  noxae  conscium  nostrae  diem, 
sed  videor.     hinc  iam  solve  inhaerentem  manum    10 
et  patere  caecum  qua  volet  ferri  pedem. 
ibo,  ibo  qua  praerupta  protendit  iuga 
meus  Cithaeron,  qua  peragrato  celer 
per  saxa  monte  iacuit  Actaeon  suis 
nova  praeda  canibus,  qua  per  obscurum  nemus 
silvamque  opacae  vallis  instinctas  deo 
egit  sorores  mater  et  gaudens  malo 
vibrante  fixum  praetulit  thyrso  caput ; 
vel  qua  cucurrit,  corpus  inlisum  trahens, 
Zethi  iuvencus,  qua  per  horrentes  rubos  20 

1  In  the  corresponding  Greek  play  a  chorus  of  Phoenician 
maidens  on  their  way  to  Delphi  chanced  to  be  at  Thebes. 
This  circumstance  gives  the  play  its  name. 

346 


PHOENISSAE,1   OR  THEBAIS 

A  FRAGMENT 

OEDIPUS 

[To  ANTIGONE,  who  has  followed  him  into  exile. "\ 
THOU  guide  of  thy  blind  father's  steps,  his  weary 
side's  sole  stay,  daughter,  whose  getting,  even  so, 
was  worth  the  cost  to  me,  quit  thou  thy  heaven-cursed 
sire.  Why  into  right  paths  wouldst  turn  aside  my 
wandering  feet  ?  Let  me  stumble  on  ;  better  alone 
shall  I  find  the  way  I  seek,  the  way  which  from  this 
life  shall  deliver  me  and  free  heaven  and  earth  from 
sight  of  this  impious  head.  How  little  did  I 
accomplish  with  this  hand  !  I  do  not  see  the  light, 
witness  of  my  crime,  but  I  am  seen.  Therefore, 
now  unclasp  thy  clinging  hand  and  let  my  sightless 
feet  wander  where  they  will.  I'll  go,  I'll  go  where  my 
own  Cithaeron  lifts  his  rugged  crags ;  where,  speed- 
ing over  the  mountain's  rocky  ways,  Actaeon  lay  at 
last,  strange  quarry  for  his  own  hounds ;  where, 
through  the  dim  grove  and  woods  of  the  dusky 
glade,  a  mother2  led  her  sisters,  by  the  god  impelled, 
and,  rejoicing  in  the  crime,  bore  in  advance  the 
head s  fixed  on  a  quivering  thyrsus ;  or  where 
Zethus'  bull  rushed  along,  dragging  a  mangled 
corpse,  while  through  the  thorny  brambles  the  mad 

8  Agave,   who  with  her  sisters,  in  a  frenzy  inspired  by 
Bacchus,  slew  her  son,  Pentheus. 
8  i.e.  of  Pentheus. 

347 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

tauri  ferocis  sanguis  ostendit  fugas  ; 
vel  qua  alta  maria  vertice  immense  premit 
Inoa  rupes,  qua  scelus  fugiens  novum 
novumque  faciens  mater  insiluit  freto 
mersura  natum  seque.     felices  quibus 
fortuna  melior  tarn  bonas  matres  dedit. 

Est  alius  istis  noster  in  silvis  locus, 
qui  me  reposcit,  hunc  petam  cursu  incite  ; 
non  haesitabit  gressus,  hue  omni  duce 
spoliatus  ibo.     quid  moror  sedes  meas  ?  SO 

mortem,  Cithaeron,  redde  et  hospitium  mihi 
illud  meum  restitue,  ut  expirem  senex 
ubi  debui  infans.     recipe  supplicium  vetus. 
semper  cruente  saeve  crudelis  ferox, 
cum  occidis  et  cum  parcis,  olim  iam  tuum 
est  hoc  cadaver :  perage  mandatum  patris, 
iam  et  matris.     animus  gestit  antiqua  exequi 
supplicia.     quid  me,  nata,  pestifero  tenes 
amore  vinctum  ?     quid  tenes  ?     genitor  vocat. 
sequor,  sequor,  iam  parce — sanguineum  gerens        40 
insigne  regni  Laius  rapti  furit ; 
en  ecce,  inanes  manibus  infestis  petit 
foditque  vultus.     nata,  genitorem  vides  ? 
ego  video,     tandem  spiritum  inimicum  expue, 
desertor  anime,  fortis  in  partem  tui. 
omitte  poenae  languidas  longae  moras, 
mortemque  totam  admitte.     quid  segnis  traho 
quod  vivo  ?     nullum  facere  iam  possum  scelus. 
possum  miser,  praedico — discede  a  patre, 
discede,  virgo.     timeo  post  matrem  omnia.  50 

348 


PHOENISSAE 

creature's  flight  was  traceable  in  blood;  or  where 
Ino's  cliff  juts  out  into  the  deep  sea  with  tower- 
ing peak,  where,  fleeing  strange  crime  and  yet 
strange  crime  committing,  a  mother  leaped  into  the 
strait  to  sink  both  son  and  self.1  Oh,  happy  they 
whose  better  fortune  has  given  such  kindly  mothers  ! 
27  There  is  another  place  within  these  woods,  my 
own  place,  which  calls  for  me  ;  I  would  fain  hasten  to 
it;  my  steps  will  falter  not;  thither  will  I  go  bereft 
of  every  guide.  Why  keep  my  own  place  waiting  .* 
Death,  O  Cithaeron,  give  me  back  ;  restore  me  that 
restinsr-place  of  mine,  that  I  may  die  in  a^e  where  I 

* 

should  have  died  in  infancy.  Claim  now  that  penalty 
of  old.  O  ever  bloody,  savage,  cruel,  fierce,  both 
when  thou  slayest  and  when  thou  sparest,  this  carcass 
of  mine  long  since  belonged  to  thee  ;  fulfil  my  father's 
behest — aye,  and  now  mv  mother's  too.  My  soul 

J       *  *  * 

yearns  to  suffer  the  penalty  of  long  ago.  Why, 
daughter,  dost  hold  me  bound  by  thy  baleful  love  ? 
Why  dost  thou  hold  me?  Mv  father  calls.  I  come. 

•/  * 

I  come ;  at  last  let  me  go  - — Laius  rages  yonder, 
wearing  the  blood-stained  badge  of  his  ravished 
kingdom  ;  see  !  behold  !  there  he  assails  and  seeks  to 
tear  at  my  sightless  countenance  with  his  threatening 
hands.  Daughter,  dost  see  my  father  ?  I  surely  see 
him.  [He  soliloquizes.]  At  length  spew  out  thy  hateful 
breath,  O  traitor  soul,  brave  'gainst  but  a  portion  of 
thyself.  Away  with  the  slow  delays  of  thy  long- 
due  punishment  ;  receive  death  wholly.  Why  do 
I  sluggishly  drag  on  this  life?  Now  can  I  do  no 
crime.  I  can,  wretch  that  I  am,  this  I  forebode — away 

from  thy  father,  away,  while  still  a  maid.      After  mv 
j  ,  '  . 

mother  I  fear  all  happenings. 

1  See  Index  a.v.  "Ino." 

3  i.e.  (to  his  daughter)  "  spare  me  thy  further  opposition." 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

ANTIGONA 

Vis  nulla,  genitor,  a  tuo  nostram  manum 
corpora  resolvet,  nemo  me  comitem  tibi 
eripiet  umquam.     Labdaci  claram  domum, 
opulenta  ferro  regna  germani  petant ; 
pars  summa  magno  patris  e  regno  mea  est, 
pater  ipse.     non  hunc  auferet  frater  mihi 
Thebana  rapto  sceptra  qui  regno  tenet, 
non  hunc  catervas  alter  Argolicas  agens ; 
non  si  revulso  luppiter  mundo  tonet 
mediumque  nostros  fulmen  in  nexus  cadat,  60 

manum  hanc  remittam.    prohibeas,  genitor,  licet; 
regam  abnuentem,  dirigam  inviti  gradum. 
in  plana  tendis  ?     vado  ;  praerupta  appetis  ? 
non  obsto,  sed  praecedo  ;  quo  vis  utere 
duce  me  :  dwobus  omnis  eligitur  via. 
perire  sine  me  non  potes,  mecum  potes. 
hie  alta  rupes  arduo  surgit  iugo 
spectatque  longe  spatia  subiecti  maris, 
vis  hanc  petamus  ?     nudus  hie  pendet  silex, 
hie  scissa  tellus  faucibus  ruptis  hiat ;  70 

vis  hanc  petamus  ?     hie  rapax  torrens  cadit 
partesque  lapsi  montis  exesas  rotat ; 
in  hunc  ruamus  ?     dum  prior,  quo  vis  eo. 
non  deprecor,  non  hortor.     extingui  cupis 
votumque,  genitor,  maximum  mors  est  tibi  ? 
si  moreris,  antecedo ;  si  vivis,  sequor. 
sed  flecte  mentem,  pectus  antiquum  advoca 
victasque  magno  robore  aerumnas  doma  ; 
resiste ;  tantis  in  malis  vinci  mori  est. 
350 


PHOEN1SSAE 

ANTIGONE 

No  force,  my  father,  shall  loose  my  hold  of  thee ; 
no  one  shall  ever  tear  me  from  thy  side.  The 
sovereignty  of  Labdacus'  noble  house  and  all  its 
riches — let  my  brothers  fight  over  these  ;  the  best 
part  of  my  father's  mighty  kingdom  is  my  own,  my 
father's  self.  Him  no  brother  shall  take  from  me, 
not  he  l  who  holds  the  Theban  sceptre  by  stolen 
right,  not  he 2  who  is  leading  the  Argive  hosts ; 
no,  though  Jove  should  rend  the  universe  with  his 
thunders,  and  his  bolt  fall  'twixt  our  embrace,  I 
will  not  let  go  my  hands.  Thou  mayst  forbid  me, 
father;  I'll  guide  thee  against  thy  will,  I'll  direct 
thine  unwilling  feet.  Wouldst  go  to  the  level  plain  ? 
I  go.  Wouldst  seek  the  craggy  mountains?  I 
oppose  not,  but  I  go  before.  Whither  thou  wilt, 
use  me  as  guide  ;  by  two  will  all  paths  be  chosen. 
Without  me  thou  canst  not  perish  ;  with  me  thou 
canst.  Here  rises  a  cliff,  lofty,  precipitous,  and  looks 
out  upon  the  long  reaches  of  the  underlying  sea; 
wouldst  have  us  seek  it  ?  Here  is  a  bare  rock  over- 
hanging, here  the  riven  earth  yawns  with  gaping 
jaws ;  shall  we  go  here  ?  Here  a  raging  torrent 
falls  and  rolls  along  worn  fragments  of  the  fallen 
mountains ;  shall  we  plunge  to  this  ?  Where'er 
thou  wilt,  I  go,  so  it  be  first.  I  neither  oppose  nor 
urge.  Art  eager  to  be  destroyed,  and  is  death, 
father,  thy  highest  wish?  If  thou  diest,  I  go  before 
thee ;  if  thou  livest,  I  follow.  But  change  thy 
purpose  ;  summon  up  thine  old-time  courage  ; 
conquer  thy  sorrows  and  with  all  thy  might  be 
master  of  them,  resist  them  ;  amidst  such  woes,  to 
be  conquered  is  to  die. 

1  Eteoclea.  2  Polynices. 

351 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

OEDIPVS 

Vnde  in  nefanda  specimen  egregium  domo  ?         80 
unde  ista  generi  virgo  dissimilis  suo  ? 
Fortuna,  credis  ?     aliquis  est  ex  me  pius? 
non  esset  umquam,  fata  bene  novi  mea, 
nisi  ut  noceret.     ipsa  se  in  leges  novas 
natura  vertit ;  regeret  in  fontern  citas 
revolutus  undas  amnis,  et  noctem  afferet 
Phoebea  lampas,  Hesperus  faciet  diem  ; 
ut  ad  miserias  aliquid  accedat  meas, 
pii  quoque  erimus.     unica  Oedipodae  est  sal  us, 
non  esse  salvum.     liceat  ulcisci  patrem  90 

adhuc  inultum ;  dextra  quid  cessas  iners 
exigere  poenas?     quidquid  exactum  est  adliuc, 
matri  dedisti.     mitte  genitoris  inanum, 
animosa  virgo  ;  funus  extendis  meum 
longasque  vivi  ducis  exequias  patris. 
aliquando  terra  corpus  invisum  tege ; 
peccas  honesta  mente,  pietatem  vocas 
patrem  insepultum  trahere.     qui  cogit  mori 
nolentem  in  aequo  est  quique  properantem  impedit ; 
occidere  est  vitare  cupientem  mori,1  100 

nee  tamen  in  aequo  est ;  alterum  gravius  reor. 
malo  imperari  quam  eripi  mortem  mihi. 
desiste  coepto,  virgo  ;  ius  vitae  ac  necis 
meae  penes  me  est.     regna  deserui  libens, 
rejnium  mei  retineo.     si  fida  es  comes, 

O  ' 

ensem  parent!  trade,  sed  notum  nece 

ensem  paterna.     tradis  ?  an  nati  tenent 

cum  regno  et  ilium  ?     facinore  ubicumque  est  opus, 

ibi  sit — relinquo  ;  natus  hunc  habeat  meus, 

1  Leo  deletes  this  line. 
352 


PHOENISSAE 

OEDIPUS 

Whence  this  rare  type  in  a  house  so  impious  ? 
Whence  this  maid  so  unlike  her  race  ?  Is  it  fortune., 
thinkst  thou?  Has  any  dutiful  child  sprung  from 
me  ?  Never  would  it  be  so,  for  well  I  know  my  fate, 
save  for  harmful  ends.  Nature  herself  has  reversed 
her  laws ;  now  will  the  river  turn  and  bear  its  swift 
waters  backward  to  their  source,  Phoebus'  torch 
will  bring  in  the  night,  and  Hesperus  herald  the 
day  ;  and,  that  something  be  added  to  my  woes,  I,  too, 
shall  become  holy.  For  Oedipus  the  only  salvation 
is  not  to  be  saved.  Let  me  avenge  my  father,  till 
now  unavenged ;  why,  sluggish  hand,  dost  thou  hesi- 
tate to  exact  penalty  ?  All  thou  hast  as  yet  exacted, 
to  my  mother  hast  thou  given.  Let  go  thy  father's 
hand,  courageous  girl ;  thou  dost  but  protract  my 
burying,  and  prolong  the  funeral  rites  of  a  living 
sire.  Bury  in  the  earth  at  last  this  hateful  body ; 
thou  wrongst  me,  though  with  kind  intent,  and 
thou  deemst  it  piety  to  drag  along  an  unburied 
father.  'Tis  all  one — to  force  him  who  shrinks  from 
death,  and  stay  him  who  seeks  to  die  ;  'tis  the  same 
as  killing  to  forbid  death  to  him  who  wants  it ;  and 
yet  'tis  not  all  one  ;  the  second  course  I  count  the 
worse.  Rather  would  I  have  death  enforced  than 
snatched  from  me.  Desist,  girl,  from  thine  attempt ; 
the  right  to  live  or  die  is  in  my  own  hands.  The 
sovereignty  over  my  realm  have  I  yielded  gladly; 
the  sovereignty  over  myself  I  keep.  If  thou  art 
true  comrade,  hand  thy  sire  a  sword,  but  be  it  the 
sword  made  famous  by  his  father's  slaughter.  Dost 
give  it  ?  or  hold  my  sons  that,  too,  together  with  my 
kingdom  ?  Wherever  is  need  of  crime,  there  let  it  be 
— I  relinquish  it ;  let  my  son  have  it — nay,  both  my 

353 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

sed  uterque.    flammas  potius  et  vastum  aggerem    1 10 

compone  ;  in  altos  ipse  me  immittam  rogos, 

haerebo  ad  ignes,  funebri  abscondar  strue ; 

pectusque  solvam  durum  et  in  cinerem  dabo 

hoc  quidquid  in  me  vivit.     ubi  saevum  est  mare  ? 

due  ubi  sit  altis  prorutum  saxis  iugum, 

ubi  torva  rapidus  ducat  Ismenos  vada.1  116 

si  dux  es,  illuc  ire  morituro  placet,  118 

ubi  sedit  alta  rupe  semifero  dolos 

Sphinx  ore  nectens.     dirige  hue  gressus  pedum,    120 

hie  siste  patrem.     dira  ne  sedes  vacet, 

monstrum  repone  maius.     hoc  saxum  insidens 

obscura  nostrae  verba  fortunae  loquar, 

quae  nemo  solvat.     quisquis  Assyrio  loca 

possessa  regi  scindis  et  Cadmi  nemus 

serpente  notum,  sacra  quo  Dirce  latet, 

supplex  adoras,  quisquis  Eurotan  bibis 

Spartamque  fratre  nobilem  gemino  colis, 

quique  Elin  et  Parnason  et  Boeotios 

colonus  agros  uberis  tondes  soli,  130 

adverte  mentem — saeva  Thebarum  lues 

luctifica  caecis  verba  committens  modis 

quid  simile  posuit  ?     quid  tarn  inextricabile  ? 

avi  gener  patrisque  rivalis  sui, 

frater  suorum  liberum  et  fratrum  parens ; 

uno  avia  partu  liberos  peperit  viro, 

sibi  et  nepotes.     monstra  quis  tanta  explicat  ? 

ego  ipse,  victae  spolia  qui  Sphingis  tuli, 

haerebo  fati  tardus  interpres  mei. 

2 
***** 

1  Leo  deletes  line  117 :  due  ubi  ferae  sunt,  ubi  fretum,  ubi 
praeceps  locus. 

2  A  speech  of  Antigone  may  have  dropped  out  at  this  point, 
or  Oedipus  may  hark  back  to  the  earlier  speech  of  Antigone 

354 


PHOENISSAE 

sons.  Flames,  if  thou  prefer,  and  a  huge  mound 
prepare  ;  myself,  will  I  fling  me  on  the  lofty  pyre, 
embrace  the  flames,  and  hide  in  the  funeral  pile. 
There  will  I  set  free  this  stubborn  soul  and  give  up 
to  ashes  this — all  that  is  left  of  me  alive.  Where  is 
the  raging  sea  ?  Lead  me  where  some  beetling  crag 
juts  out  with  its  high,  rocky  cliff,  or  where  swift 
Ismenus  rolls  his  wild  waters.  If  thou  art  my  guide, 
thither  would  I  go  to  die  where  on  a  high  cliff  the 
Sphinx  once  sat  and  wove  crafty  speech  with  her 
half-bestial  lips.  Guide  my  feet  thither,  there  set 
thy  father.  Let  not  that  dreadful  seat  be  empty, 
but  place  thereon  a  greater  monster.  On  that  rock 
will  I  sit  and  propound  the  dark  riddle  of  my  fate 
which  none  may  answer.  All  ye  who  till  the  fields 
once  ruled  by  the  Assyrian  king,1  who  suppliant 
worship  in  the  grove  of  Cadmus  for  the  serpent 
famed,  where  sacred  Dirce  lies  ;  all  ye  who  drink  of 
the  Eurotas,  who  dwell  in  Sparta  for  its  twin 
brethren  2  famous ;  ye  farmers  who  reap  Elis  and 
Parnassus  and  Boeotia's  fertile  fields,  give  ear.  That 
dire  pest  of  Thebes,  who  wrapped  death-dealing 
words  in  puzzling  measures,  what  riddle  like  ;this 
did  she  ever  propound  ?  What  maze  so  bewildering  ? 
He  was  Ids  grandfather  s  son-in-law  and  his  father  s 
rival,  brother  of  his  children  and  father  of  his  brothers  ; 
at  one  birth  the  grandmother  bore  children  to  her  husband 

O 

and  grandchildren  to  herself.  Who  can  unfold  a  coil 
so  monstrous  ?  Even  I,  who  gained  spoils  from  the 
conquered  Sphinx,  shall  prove  but  slow  in  unriddling 
mine  own  doom. 

***** 
1  Cadmus.          8  Castor  and  Pollux. 


after  a  dramatic  pause.      Leo  holds  that  the   hiatus  is,   as 
Swoboda  thinks,  left  by  the  poet  himself. 

355 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Quid  perdis  ultra  verba  ?     quid  pectus  ferum     140 
mollire  temptas  precibus  ?     hoc  animo  sedet 
effundere  hanc  cum  morte  luctantem  diu 
animam  et  tenebras  petere  ;  nam  sceleri  haec  meo 
parum  alta  nox  est ;  Tartaro  condi  iuvat, 
et  si  quid  ultra  Tartarum  est;  tandem  libet 
quod  olim  oportet.     morte  prohiberi  baud  queo. 
ferrum  negabis  ?     noxias  lapsu  vias 
eludes  et  artis  colla  laqueis  inseri 
prohibebis  ?     herbas  quae  ferunt  letum  auferes  ? 
quid  ista  tandem  cura  proficiet  tua  ?  1 50 

ubique  mors  est.     optume  hoc  cavit  deus : 
eripere  vitam  nemo  non  homini  potest, 
at  nemo  mortem ;  mille  ad  hanc  aditus  patent, 
nil  quaero.     dextra  noster  et  nuda  solet 
bene  animus  uti — dextra,  nunc  toto  impetu, 
toto  dolore,  viribus  totis  veni. 
non  destino  unum  vulneri  nostro  locum — 
totus  nocens  sum ;  qua  voles  mortem  exige. 
effringe  pectus  corque  tot  scelermn  capax 
evelle,  totos  viscerum  nuda  sinus.  160 

fractum  incitatis  ictibus  guttur  sonet 
laceraeque  fixis  unguibus  venae  fluant. 
aut  dirige  iras  quo  soles  ;  haec  vulnera 
rescissa  multo  sanguine  ac  tabe  inriga, 
hac  extrahe  animam  duram,  inexpugnabilem. 
et  tu,  parens,  ubicumque  poenarum  arbiter 
adstas  mearum — non  ego  hoc  tantum  scelus 
ulla  expiari  credidi  poena  satis 
umquam,  nee  ista  morte  contentus  fui, 
nee  me  redemi  parte  ;  membratim  tibi  170 

356 


PHOENISSAE 

340  Why  dost  thou  waste  further  words?  Why  dost 
try  to  soften  my  hard  heart  with  prayers  ?  My  will 
is  fixed  to  pour  forth  this  life  which  has  long  been 
struggling  with  death,  and  to  seek  the  nether  dark- 
ness ;  for  this  deep  night  is  not  deep  enough  for  my 
crime  ;  in  Tartarus  would  I  be  buried,  or  if  there  be 
aught  deeper  than  Tartarus ;  'tis  pleasing  to  do  at 
last  what  long  ago  I  should  have  done.  I  cannot  be 
kept  from  death.  Wilt  withhold  the  sword?  Wilt 
bar  paths  where  I  might  fall  to  death  ?  Wilt  keep 
my  neck  from  the  choking  noose  ?  Wilt  remove 
death -bringing  herbs  ?  What,  pray,  will  that  care  of 
thine  accomplish  ?  Death  is  everywhere.  This  hath 
God  with  wisdom  excellent  provided  :  of  life  anyone 
can  rob  a  man,  but  of  death  no  one  ;  to  this  a  thousand 
doors  lie  open.  I  ask  for  naught.  This  right  hand, 
though  bare,  my  soul  hath  practice  to  use  well — O 
hand  of  mine,  come  now  with  all  thy  force,  with  all 
thy  smarting  rage,  with  all  thy  might.  Not  one  spot 
only  do  I  mark  out  for  the  wound — I  am  all  sin  ; 
inflict  death  where  thou  wilt.  Break  through  my 
breast  and  tear  out  my  heart,  which  has  room  for  so 
many  crimes ;  lay  bare  my  vitals,  every  nook  ;  rain 
resounding  blows  upon  my  neck  until  it  break,  and 
let  my  veins  flow,  torn  by  my  gouging  fingers.  Or 
aim  thy  mad  attack  at  the  accustomed  place  ; l  these 
wounds  reopen  ;  bathe  them  in  streams  of  blood  and 
gore  ;  through  this  passage  drag  out  my  stubborn  life, 
impregnable.  And  do  thou,  my  father,  where'er  thou 
standst  as  arbiter  of  my  sufferings — I  have  never 
deemed  that  this  grievous  crime  of  mine  was 
sufficiently  atoned  by  any  suffering,  nor  have  I  been 
content  with  such  death  as  this,  nor  have  I  bought 
my  pardon  with  a  portion  of  myself;  limb  by  limb 

JHis  eyes. 

S57 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

perire  volui — debitum  tandem  exige. 

nunc  solvo  poenas,  tune  tibi  inferias  dedi. 

ades  atque  inertem  dexteram  introrsus  preme 

magisque  merge  ;  timida  tune  parvo  caput 

libavit  haustu  vixque  cuplentes  sequi 

eduxit  oculos.     haeret  etiam  nunc  mihi 

ille  animus,  haeret,  cum  recusantem  manum 

pressere  vultus.     audies  verum,  Oedipus  : 

minus  eruisti  lumina  audacter  tua, 

quam  praestitisti.     nunc  manum  cerebro  indue  ;    1  SO 

hac  parte  mortem  perage  qua  coepi  mori. 

ANTIGONA 

Pauca,  o  parens  magnanime,  miserandae  precor 
ut  verba  natae  mente  placata  audias. 
non  te  ut  reducam  veteris  ad  speciem  domus 
habitumque  regni  flore  pollentem  inclito 
peto  aut  ut  iras,  temporum  haut  ipsa  mora 
fractas,  remisso  pectore  ac  pi  acid  o  feras  ; 
at  hoc  decebat  roboris  tanti  virum, 
non  esse  sub  dolore  nee  victum  malis 
dare  terga  ;  non  est,  ut  putas,  virtus,  pater  1 90 

timere  vitam,  sed  malis  ingentibus 
obstare  nee  se  vertere  ac  retro  dare, 
qui  fata  proculcavit  ac  vitae  bona 
proiecit  atque  abscidit  et  casus  suos 
oneravit  ipse,  cui  deo  nullo  est  opus, 
quare  ille  mortem  cupiat  aut  quare  petat? 
utrumque  timidi  est ;  nemo  contempsit  mori 
qui  concupivit.     cuius  haut  ultra  mala 
exire  possunt,  in  loco  tuto  est  situs. 
358 


PHOENISSAE 

have  I  desired  to  die  for  thee — at  length  exact  the 
debt.  Now  am  I  paying  my  penalty  ;  before,  I  did 
but  offer  sacrifices  to  thy  ghost.  Come  to  my  aid, 
help  me  to  plunge  my  nerveless  hand  deep  down  and 
deeper  ;  timidly,  aforetime,  and  with  but  a  meagre 
outpouring  did  it  sprinkle  my  head,  when  it  scarce 
drew  forth  the  eyes  that  yearned  to  follow.  Even 
now  this  soul  of  mine  halts,  yes  halts,  when  my  face 
has  bent  downward  to  mv  shrinking  hands.  Thou 
shalt  hear  the  truth,  Oedipus :  less  boldly  didst 
thou  pluck  out  thine  eyes  than  thou  didst  undertake 
to  do.  Thrust  now  thy  hand  e'en  to  the  brain ; 
through  that  door  whereby  I  began  to  die  fulfil  my 
death. 


ANTIGONE 


Father,  great-souled,  I  beseech  thee  that  with 
calm  mind  thou  listen  to  some  few  words  of  thy 
wretched  daughter.  I  seek  not  to  lead  thee  back 
again  to  the  splendours  of  thine  ancient  home,  and 
to  thy  royal  estate,  flourishing  in  power  and  fame  ; 
nor  do  I  ask  that  thou  bear  with  calm  and  peaceful 
soul  that  tempest  of  passion  which  has  not  been 
allayed  even  by  lapse  of  time  ;  and  yet  'twere  fitting 
that  one  so  stalwart  should  not  yield  to  pain  nor 
turn  in  flight,  by  disaster  overcome.  It  is  not  man- 
hood, father,  as  thou  deemst  it,  to  shrink  from  life, 
but  to  make  stand  against  mighty  ills  and  neither 
turn  nor  yield.  He  who  has  trodden  destiny  under 
foot,  who  has  torn  off  and  thrown  away  life's  blessings, 
and  himself  piled  up  the  burden  of  his  woes,  who  has 
no  need  of  God,  wherefore  should  he  desire  death,  or 
wherefore  seek  it?  Each  is  a  coward's  act ;  no  one 
despises  death  who  yet  yearns  for  it.  He  whose 
misfortunes  can  no  further  go,  is  safely  lodged. 

359 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Quis  iam  deorum,  velle  fac,  quicquam  potest     200 
mails  tuis  adicere  ?     iam  nee  tu  potes 
nisi  hoc,  ut  esse  te  putes  dignum  nece. 
non  es  nee  ulla  pectus  hoc  culpa  attigit. 
et  hoc  magis  te,  genitor,  insontem  voca, 
quod  innocens  es  dis  quoque  invitis.     quid  est 
quod  te  efferarit,  quod  novos  suffixerit 
stimulos  dolori  ?     quid  te  in  infernas  agit 
sedes,  quid  ex  his  pellit  ?     ut  eareas  die  ? 
cares,     ut  altis  nobilem  muris  domum 
patriamque  fugias  ?     patria  tibi  vivo  perit.  210 

natos  fugis  matremque  ?     ab  aspectu  omnium 
fortuna  te  summovit,  et  quidquid  potest 
auferre  cuiquam  mors,  tibi  hoc  vita  abstulit. 
regni  tumultus  ?     turba  fortunae  prior 
abscessit  a  te  iussa — quern,  genitor,  fugis  ? 

OEDIPVS 

Me  fugio,  fugio  conscium  scelerum  omnium 
pectus,  manumque  hanc  fugio  et  hoc  caelum  et  deos ; 
et  dira  fugio  scelera  quae  feci  innocens.1 
ego  hoc  solum,  frugifera  quo  surgit  Ceres, 
premo  ?     has  ego  auras  ore  pestifero  traho  ?  220 

ego  laticis  haustu  satior  aut  ullo  fruor 
almae  parentis  munere  ?     ego  castam  manum 
nefandus  incestificus  exsecrabilis 
attrecto  ?     ego  ullos  aure  concipio  sonos, 
per  quos  parentis  nomen  aut  nati  audiam  ? 
utinam  quidem  rescindere  has  quirem  vias 

1  Leo  deletes  this  line. 
360 


PHORNISSAE 

200  Who  now  of  the  gods,  granting  he  wills  it  so,  can 
add  aught  to  thy  misfortunes  ?  Now  not  even  canst 
thou  add  aught  save  this,  to  deem  thyself  worthy  of 
death.  Thou  art  not  worthy,  nor  has  any  taint  of 
guilt  touched  thy  heart.  And  for  this  all  the  more, 
father,  call  thyself  guiltless ;  for  thou  art  guiltless, 
though  even  the  gods  willed  otherwise.  What  is  it 
which  has  so  maddened  thee,  which  has  goaded  thy 
grief  afresh  ?  What  drives  thee  to  the  infernal 
regions  ?  What  forces  thee  out  of  these  ?  That 
thou  mayst  avoid  the  light  of  day?  Thou  dost 
avoid  it.  That  thou  mayst  flee  thy  noble  palace 
with  its  high  walls,  and  thy  native  land  ?  Thy 
native  land,  though  thou  still  livest,  is  dead  to  thee. 
Dost  flee  from  thy  sons  and  mother?  From  the 
sight  of  all  men  fate  has  removed  thee,  and  whatever 
death  can  take  away  from  any  man,  this  has  life  taken 
from  thee.  Wouldst  avoid  the  tumult  around  a 
throne  ?  They  who  once  in  prosperity  thronged 
around  thee,  at  thy  command  have  left  thee.  Whom 
dost  thou  flee,  my  father  ? 

OEDIPUS 

Myself  I  flee  ;  I  flee  my  heart  conscious  of  all 
crimes ;  I  flee  this  hand,  this  sky,  the  gods ;  I  flee 
the  dread  crimes  which  I  committed,  though  in 
innocence.  Do  I  tread  this  earth  from  which  whole- 
some grain  springs  up  ?  This  air  do  I  inhale  with 
pestilential  lips?  Does  water  quench  my  thirst, 
or  do  I  enjoy  any  gift  of  kindly  mother  earth  ? 
Do  I,  impious,  incestuous,  accursed,  touch  thy  pure 
hand  ?  Do  my  ears  take  in  sound  by  which  I  may 
still  hear  the  name  of  parent  or  of  son  ?  I  would 
indeed  that  I  might  destroy  these  paths  and  might 

361 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

manibusque  adactis  omne  qua  voces  meant 

aditusque  verbis  tramite  angusto  patet 

eruere  possem  ;  nata,  iam  sensum  tui, 

quae  pars  meorum  es  criminum,  infelix  pater          230 

fugissem. 

Inhaeret  ac  recrudescit  nefas 
subinde,  et  aures  ingerunt  quidquid  mihi 
donastis,  oculi.     cur  caput  tenebris  grave 
non  mitto  ad  umbras  Ditis  aeternas  ?     quid  hie 
manes  meos  detineo  ?     quid  terram  gravo 
mixtusque  superis  erro  ?     quid  restat  mali  ? 
regnum  parentes  liberi,  virtus  quoque 
et  ingeni  sollertis  eximium  decus 
periere,  cuncta  sors  mihi  infesta  abstulit. 
lacrimae  supererant — has  quoque  eripui  mihi.        240 

Absiste  !     nullas  animus  admittit  preces 
novamque  poenam  sceleribus  quaerit  parem. 
et  esse  par  quae  poterit  ?     infanti  quoque 
decreta  mors  est.      fata  quis  tarn  tristia 
sortitus  umquam  ?     videram  nondum  diem 
uterique  nondum  solveram  clausi  moras, 
et  iam  timebar.     protinus  quosdam  editos 
nox  occupavit  et  novae  luci  abstulit ; 
mors  me  antecessit ;  aliquis  intra  viscera 
materna  letum  praecoquis  fati  tulit  ;  250 

sed  numquid  et  peccavit  ?     abstrusum,  abditum 
dubiumque  an  essem  sceleris  infandi  reum 
deus  egit ;  illo  teste  damnavit  parens 
calidoque  teneros  transuit  ferro  pedes 
et  in  alta  nemora  pabulum  misit  feris 

362 


PHOENISSAE 

with  my  hands  driven  deep  pluck  out  every  part 
where  voices  enter  and  where  a  narrow  passage  gives 
access  to  the  words  of  men  ;  then,  daughter,  thy 
wretched  father  would  have  escaped  all  consciousness 
of  thee,  who  art  part  and  parcel  of  my  crimes. 

231  My  guilt  sticks  fast  within  me,  threatens  each 
moment  to  break  out  afresh,  and  my  ears  pour  in  upon 
me  all  that  you,  my  eyes,  have  bestowed.1  Why  do 
I  not  plunge  this  life,  weighted  with  gloom,  down  to 
the  everlasting  shades  of  Dis  ?  Why  here  do  I  detain 
my  ghost  ?  Why  do  I  burden  the  earth  and  wander 
amongst  the  living  ?  What  evil  is  left  for  me  ?  My 
kingdom,  parents,  children,  my  manhood,  too,  and 
the  illustrious  fame  of  my  cunning  wit — all  these 
have  perished,  all  have  been  stripped  from  me  by 
hostile  chance.  Tears  were  still  left  me — of  these, 
too,  have  I  robbed  myself. 

241  Stand  off !  My  soul  will  not  listen  to  any  prayers 
and  seeks  some  new  punishment  to  match  its  crimes. 
And  what  match  can  there  be  ?  Even  in  my  infancy 
I  was  doomed  to  death.  Who  ever  drew  lot  so  sad  ? 
I  had  not  yet  seen  the  light,  was  still  imprisoned  in 
the  womb,  and  already  I  was  held  in  fear.  Some 
there  are  whom  straightway  at  birth  night  hath 
seized  upon  and  snatched  from  their  first  dawn ;  but 
on  me  death  came  ere  birth.  Some,  while  still 
within  the  mother's  womb,  have  suffered  untimely 
death  ;  but  have  they  sinned  also  ?  Hidden  away, 
confined,  my  very  being  in  doubt,  the  god  made 
me  guilty  of  a  charge  unspeakable.  On  that  charge 
my  sire  condemned  me,  spitted  my  slender  ankles 
on  hot  iron,  and  sent  me  to  the  deep  forest  as  prey 

1  Oedipus  paradoxically  deems  that  his  eyes  in  their  blind- 
ness bestow  on  him  the  boon  of  avoiding  sight  ;  but  his  ears 


still  bring  Antigone  to  his  consciousness. 


363 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

avibusque  saevis  quas  Cithaeron  noxius 

cruore  saepe  regio  tinctas  alit. 

sed  quern  deus  damnavit,  abiecit  pater, 

mors  quoque  refugit.     praestiti  Del  phis  fidem  ; 

genitorem  adortus  impia  stravi  nece.  260 

hoc  alia  pietas  redimet :  occidi  patrem, 

sed  matrem — amavi.     proloqui  hymenaeum  pudet 

taedasque  nostras.     has  quoque  invitum  pati 

te  coge  poenas ;  facinus  ignotum  efferum 

inusitatum  effare  quod  populi  horreant, 

quod  esse  factura  nulla  non  aetas  neget, 

quod  parricidam  pudeat :  in  patrios  toros 

tuli  paterno  sanguine  aspersas  manus 

scelerisque  pretium  maius  accepi  scelus. 

Leve  est  paternum  facinus  ;  in  thalamos  meos  270 
deducta  mater,  ne  parum  sceleris  foret, 
fecunda — nullum  crimen  hoc  maius  potest 
natura  ferre.     si  quod  etiamnum  est  tamen, 
qui  facere  possunt  dedimus.     abieci  necis 
pretium  paternae  sceptrum  et  hoc  iterum  manus 
armavit  alias  ;  optime  regni  mei 
fatum  ipse  novi ;  nemo  sine  sacro  feret 
illud  cruore.     magna  praesagit  mala 
paternus  animus,     iacta  iam  sunt  semina 
cladis  futurae  ;  spernitur  pacti  fides.  280 

hie  occupato  cedere  imperio  negat, 
ius  ille  et  icti  foederis  testes  deos 
invocat  et  Argos  exul  atque  urbes  movet 
Graias  in  arma.     non  levis  fessis  venit 
ruina  Thebis  ;  tela  flammae  vulnera 

364 


PHOENISSAE 

for  wild  beasts  and  savage  birds  which  baleful 
Cithaeron,  oft  stained  with  royal  blood,  doth  breed. 
Yet  him  whom  God  condemned,  whom  his  sire  cast 
away,  hath  death  also  shunned.  I  kept  faith  with 
Delphi  ;  I  assailed  my  father  and  with  impious 
death-stroke  slew  him.  For  this  another  act  of 
piety  will  atone  ;  I  killed  my  father,  true,  but  my 
mother — I  loved.  Oh,  'tis  shame  to  speak  of  wed- 
lock and  my  marriage  torches.  But  this  punishment 
also  force  thyself  to  bear  though  against  thy  will  ; 
proclaim  thy  crime,  unheard  of,  bestial,  unexampled, 
at  which  nations  would  shudder,  which  no  age 
would  believe  ever  befell,  which  would  put  even  a 
parricide  to  shame  :  into  my  father's  bed  I  bore  hands 
smeared  with  my  father  s  blood,  and  there,  as  the  reward 
of  my  crime,  I  did  worse  crime. 

270  A  trivial  sin  is  my  father's  murder ;  my  mother, 
brought  to  my  marriage  chamber,  that  my  guilt  might 
be  complete,  conceived — no  greater  crime  than  this 
can  nature  brook.  And  yet,  if  there  is  even  now 
worse  crime,  we  have  given  the  world  those  who  can 
commit  it.  I  have  flung  away  the  sceptre,  price  of 
my  father's  murder,  and  this,  again,  has  armed  other 
hands.  I  myself  best  know  my  kingdom's  destiny ; 
no  one  unstained  by  sacred  blood  shall  bear  sway  there. 
Dire  misfortunes  my  father-soul  presages.  Already 
are  sown  the  seeds  of  calamity  to  come  ;  the  plighted 
pact 1  is  scorned.  The  one  will  not  retire  from  the 
throne  he  has  usurped  ;  the  other  proclaims  his  right, 
calls  on  the  gods  to  witness  the  broken  bond,  and, 
wandering  in  exile,  is  rousing  Argos  and  the  cities 
of  Greece  to  arms.  'Tis  no  light  destruction  that  is 
coming  on  weary  Thebes  ;  weapons,  flames,  wounds 

1  i.e.  between  Eteocles  and  Polynices. 

365 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

instant  et  istis  si  quod  est  maius  malum, — 
ut  esse  genitos  nemo  non  ex  me  sciat. 

ANTIGONA 

Si  nulla,  genitor,  causa  vivendi  tibi  est, 
haec  una  abunde  est,  ut  pater  natos  regas 
graviter  furentes.  tu  impii  belli  minas  290 

avertere  unus  tuque  vaecordes  potes 
inhibere  iuvenes,  civibus  pacem  dare, 
patriae  quietem,  foederi  laeso  fidem. 
vitam  tibi  ipse  si  negas,  multis  negas. 

OEDIPVS 

Illis  parentis  ullus  aut  aequi  est  amor, 
avidis  cruoris  imperi  armorum  doli, 
diris,  scelestis,  breviter  ut  dicam — meis? 
certant  in  omne  facinus  et  pensi  nihil 
ducunt,  ubi  ipsos  ira  praecipites  agit, 
nefasque  nullum  per  nefas  nati  putant.  300 

non  patris  illos  tangit  afflicti  pudor, 
non  patria ;  regno  pectus  attonitum  furit. 
scio  quo  ferantur,  quanta  moliri  parent, 
ideoque  leti  quaero  maturam  viam 
morique  propero,  dum  in  domo  nemo  est  mea 
nocentior  me.     nata,  quid  genibus  meis 
fles  advoluta  ?     quid  prece  indomitum  domas? 
unum  hoc  habet  fortuna  quo  possim  capi, 
invictus  aliis ;  sola  tu  affectus  potes 
mollire  duros,  sola  pietatem  in  domo  310 

docere  nostra.      nil  grave  aut  miserum  est  mihi 
quod  te  sciam  voluisse  ;  tu  tantum  impera  ; 
366 


PHOENISSAE 

press  round  her  and  a  greater  ill  than  these,  if 
greater  there  be, — that  all  may  know  I  have  begotten 
sons. 


ANTIGONE 


If,  my  father,  thou  hast  no  other  cause  for  living, 
this  one  is  more  than  enough,  that  as  father  thou 
mayst  restrain  thy  sons  from  their  fatal  frenzy. 
Thou  alone  canst  avert  the  threats  of  impious  war, 
canst  check  these  mad  youths,  give  peace  to  our 
citizens,  rest  to  our  land,  faith  to  the  broken  pact. 
If  life  to  thyself  thou  dost  deny,  to  many  dost  thou 
deny  it. 


OEDIPUS 


Have  they  any  love  for  father  or  for  right,  they 
who  lust  for  blood,  power,  arms,  treachery,  they  the 
cruel,  the  accursed, — in  brief,  my  sons  ?  They  vie 
one  with  the  other  in  every  crime,  and  have  no 
scruple  where  passion  drives  them  headlong ;  im- 
piously born,  they  count  nothing  impious.  No  feeling 
for  their  stricken  father,  none  for  their  fatherland, 
moves  them  ;  their  hearts  are  mad  with  lust  of 
empire.  I  know  well  whither  they  tend,  what 
monstrous  deeds  they  are  planning,  and  for  this 
cause  I  seek  an  early  path  to  destruction,  rush  on 
my  death,  while  still  there  is  none  in  my  house 
more  guilty  than  myself.  Daughter,  why  dost  thou 
fall  weeping  at  my  knees  ?  Why  seekst  with  prayer 
to  conquer  my  unconquerable  resolve  ?  This  is  the 
one  means  by  which  fortune  can  take  me  captive, 
invincible  in  all  else ;  thou  only  canst  soften  my 
hard  heart,  thou  only  canst  teach  piety  in  our  house. 
Nothing  is  heavy  or  grievous  to  me  which  I  know 
thou  hast  desired.  Do  thou  but  command ;  I, 

367 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF  SENECA 

hie  Oedipus  Aegaea  transnabit  freta 
iubente  te,  flammasque  quas  Siculo  vomit 
de  monte  tellus  igneos  volvens  globos, 
excipiet  ore  seque  serpenti  offeret, 
quae  saeva  furto  nemoris  Herculeo  furit ; 
iubente  te  praebebit  alitibus  iecur — 
iubente  te  vel  vivet. 


368 


PHOENISSAE 

Oedipus,  at  thy  bidding  will  swim  the  Aegean  sea, 
will  drink  the  flames  which  earth  from  the  Sicilian 
mountains  belches  forth,  pouring  down  balls  of  fire, 
will  beard  the  dragon  still  savagely  raging  in  the 
grove  at  the  theft  of  Hercules;  at  thy  bidding  will 
offer  my  liver  to  the  birds — at  thy  bidding  e'en  will 
live. 

The  first  episode  seems  to  be  complete  here,  except  for  the 
commenting  chorus  which  would  naturally  follow. 
OEDIPUS  has  temporarily  yielded  to  his  daughter's 
will. 


369 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 


NUNTIUS1 
***** 

Exemplum  in  ingens  regia  stirpe  editum  820 

Tbebae  paventes  arma  fraterna  invocant 
rogantque  tectis  arceas  patriis  faces. 
non  sunt  minae,  iam  propius  accessit  malum  ; 
nam  regna  repetens  frater  et  pactas  vices 
in  bella  cunctos  Graeciae  populos  agit. 
septena  muros  castra  Thebanos  premunt. 
succurre,  prohibe  pariter  et  bellum  et  scelus. 

OEDIPVS 

Ego  ille  sum  qui  scelera  committi  vetem 
et  abstineri  sanguine  a  caro  manus 
doceam  ?     magister  iuris  et  amoris  pii  330 

ego  sum  ?     meorum  facinorum  exempla  appetunt, 
me  nunc  secuntur  ;  laudo  et  agnosco  libens, 
exhortor,  aliquid  ut  patre  hoc  dignum  gerant. 
agite,  o  propago  cara,  generosam  indolem 


1  Leo,  with  Etyy  assigns  this  speech  to  Antigone:  Richter, 
with  A,  gives  it  to  Nuntius. 

370 


PHOENISSAE 


The  following  passage  fittingly  opens  the  second  episode. 
Although  some  editors  would  assign  it  to  ANTIGONE, 
it  seems  more  properly  to  belong  to  a  messenger  who 
has  just  arrived,  for  the  double  reason  that  it  gives 
fresher  information  from  Thebes  than  ANTIGONE 
would  naturally  possess;  and  that  OEDIPUS,  after 
the  speech  to  his  daughter  with  which  the  previous 
episode  ended}  would  hardly  address  to  her  as  rough 
a  reply  as  he  uses  in  his  next  speech. 

MESSENGER 

Thee,  sprung  from  regal  ancestry  to  be  our  great 
exemplar,  Thebes  calls  to  her  aid,  trembling  at 
fratricidal  strife,  and  prays  that  thou  fend  off  from 
thy  country's  homes  the  brands  of  war.  These  are 
no  mere  threats ;  already  is  destruction  at  our  gates  ; 
for  the  brother  T  demands  his  turn  to  rule  according 
to  the  bond,  and  is  marshalling  to  war  all  the  peoples 
of  Greece.  Seven  bands  are  encamped  against  the 
walls  of  Thebes.  Haste  to  our  aid  ;  prevent  in  one 
act  both  war  and  crime. 

OEDIPUS 

Am  I  one  to  forbid  crime  and  teach  hands  to 
refrain  from  the  blood  of  loved  ones  ?  Am  1  a  teacher 
of  righteousness  and  love  of  kin  ?  Tis  from  my 
crimes  they  seek  their  pattern,  'tis  my  example  they 
follow  now.  I  praise  them  and  gladly  acknowledge 
them  as  sons ;  I  urge  them  on  to  do  something 
worthy  of  such  a  father.  Go  on,  dear  offspring, 
prove  your  noble  breeding  by  your  deeds ;  surpass 

1  Polynices. 

371 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

probate  factis,  gloriam  ac  laudes  meas 

superate  et  aliquid  facite  propter  quod  patrem 

adhuc  iuvet  vixisse.     facietis,  scio  : 

sic  estis  orti.     scelere  defungi  haut  levi, 

haut  usitato  tanta  nobilitas  potest. 

ferte  arma,  facibus  petite  penetrales  deos  340 

frugemque  flamma  metite  natalis  soli, 

miscete  cuncta,  rapite  in  exitium  omnia, 

disicite  passim  moenia,  in  planum  date, 

templis  deos  obruite,  maculates  lares 

conflate,  ab  imo  tota  considat  domus  ; 

urbs  concremetur — primus  a  thalamis  meis 

incipiat  ignis. 

ANTIOONA 

Mitte  violentum  impetum 
doloris  ac  te  publica  exorent  mala, 
auctorque  placidae  liberis  pacis  veni. 


OEUIPVS 

Vides  modestae  deditum  menti  senem  350 

placidaeque  amantem  pacis  ad  partes  vocas  ? 
tumet  animus  ira,  fervet  iminensus  dolor, 
maiusque  quam  quod  casus  et  iuvenum  furor 
conatur  aliquid  cupio.     non  satis  est  adhuc 
civile  bellum  ;  frater  in  fratrem  ruat ; 
nee  hoc  sat  est ;  quod  debet,  ut  fiat  nefas 
de  more  nostro,  quod  meos  deceat  toros, 
date  arma  matri.     nemo  me  ex  his  eruat 
silvis  ;  latebo  rupis  exesae  cavo 

aut  sepe  densa  corpus  abstrusum  tegam.  360 

hinc  aucupabor  verba  rumoris  vagi 
et  saeva  fratrum  bella,  quod  possum,  audiam. 

372 


PHOENISSAE 

my  fame  and  praises  and  do  some  deed  whereat  your 
father  may  rejoice  that  he  has  lived  till  now.  You 
will  do  it,  I  know  :  of  such  mind  were  you  born  ;  no 
trivial,  no  common  crime  can  such  high  birth  per- 
form. Forward  your  arms !  With  torches  have  at 
your  household  gods ;  reap  with  fire  the  ripened 
grain  of  your  native  land  ;  confound  all  things,  hurry 
all  to  destruction  ;  on  all  sides  throw  down  the  walls, 
raze  them  to  the  ground  ;  bury  the  gods  beneath 
their  own  temples ;  the  defiled  deities  of  your 
hearths  melt  in  the  fire,  and  let  our  whole  house 
from  its  foundations  fall  ;  let  the  city  be  consumed 
— and  be  my  marriage  chamber  the  first  to  feel  the 
flames. 

ANTIGONE 

Give  o'er  this  raging  storm  of  grief;  let  the 
public  calamities  prevail  with  thee  ;  go  to  thy  sons 
as  the  adviser  of  calm  peace. 

OEDIPUS 

Seest  thou  an  old  man  given  to  gentle  thoughts  ? 
dost  summon  me  as  lover  of  calm  peace  to  take  her 
part  ?  My  heart  swells  with  rage,  my  smarting  grief 
burns  measureless,  and  I  long  for  some  crime  more 
dreadful  than  what  the  casual  madness  of  young  men 
attempts.  Not  enough  for  me  is  war  that  as  yet  is 
between  citizens  ;  let  brother  rush  on  brother.  Nor 
is  that  enough  ;  that,  as  is  due,  a  horror  may  be 
wrought  after  my  fashion,  one  that  may  befit  my 
marriage-couch,  arm  ye  your  mother.  Let  no  one 
drag  me  from  these  woods  !  I'll  lurk  in  the  cliffs' 
wave-worn  caves  or  hide  away  in  the  thick  under- 
brush. Here  will  I  catch  at  vague  rumour's  words 
and  the  dire  strife  of  brothers,  as  I  can,  will  hear. 

373 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 


IOCASTA 


Felix  Agaue  !  facinus  horrendum  manu, 
qua  fecerat,  gestavit  et  spolium  tulit 
cruenta  nati  maenas  in  partes  dati  ; 
fecit  scelus,  sed  misera  non  ultro  suo 
sceleri  occucurrit.     hoc  leve  est  quod  sum  nocens  ; 
feci  nocentes.     hoc  quoque  etiamnunc  leve  est ; 
peperi  nocentes.     derat  aerumnis  meis, 
ut  et  hostem  amarem.     bruma  ter  posuit  nives      370 
et  tertia  iam  falce  decubuit  Ceres, 
ut  exul  errat  natus  et  patria  caret 
profugusque  regum  auxilia  Graiorum  rogat. 
gener  est  Adrasti,  cuius  imperio  mare 
quod  scindit  Isthmos  regitur ;  hie  gentes  suas 
septemque  secum  regna  ad  auxilium  trahit 
genero.     quid  optem  quidve  decernam  haut  scio. 
regnum  reposcit ;  causa  repetentis  bona  est, 
mala  sic  petentis.     vota  quae  faciam  parens  ? 
utrimque  natum  video  ;  nil  possum  pie  380 

pietate  salva  facere.     quodcumque  alteri 
optabo  nato  fiet  alterius  malo. 
sed  utrumque  quamvis  diligam  affectu  pari, 
quo  causa  melior  sorsque  deterior  trahit 
inclinat  animus  semper  infirmo  favens. 
miseros  magis  fortuna  conciliat  suis. 


1  i.e.    Polynices,    who   has   now   become   a   public   foe   of 
Thebes. 

374 


PHOENISSAE 

It  is  possible  that  the  following  fragments  belong  to 
another  play.  The  presence  of  ANTIGONE  in 
Thebes,  notwithstanding  her  resolve  to  remain  with 
her  father,  would  strengthen  this  view. 

JOCASTA 

Fortunate  Agave  !  she  carried  her  ghastly  crime 
in  the  hand  that  wrought  it,  and  as  a  bloody  maenad 
bore  spoil  of  her  dismembered  son.  She  wrought  a 
crime,  but  not  wantonly  did  the  wretched  woman 
go  to  meet  her  crime.  'Tis  but  a  trivial  thing  that 
I  am  guilty  ;  I  have  made  others  guilty.  This,  too, 
bad  as  it  is,  is  trivial ;  I  have  borne  guilty  sons.  'Twas 
as  yet  lacking  to  my  woes  that  I  should  love  even 
my  enemy.1  Thrice  have  the  snows  of  winter  fallen, 
three  harvests  now  have  yielded  to  the  sickle,  while 
my  son  in  exile  wanders,  expatriate,  and  as  an  outcast 
begs  aid  from  the  Greek  kings.  And  now  he  is  son- 
in-law  of  Adrastus,  whose  sway  is  over  the  waters 
which  Isthmus  cleaves,  and  who  brings  with  him  his 
own  tribes  and  seven  kingdoms  to  the  aid  of  his 
son-in-law.  What  I  should  pray  for,  or  which  side 
espouse,  I  know  not.  He  demands  back  the  king- 
dom ;  to  reseek  it  is  an  honest  plea,  but  ill  to  seek 
it  thus.  What  should  be  a  mother's  prayer  ?  On 
either  side  I  see  a  son  ;  I  can  do  nothing  piously 
that  is  not  impious.  Whatever  blessing  I  shall  ask 
for  one,  to  the  other  will  prove  a  curse.  But,  though 
I  love  both  equally,  whither  the  better  cause  and 
the  worse  fortune  draw,  my  heart  inclines,  which 
always  takes  the  weaker  side.  Misfortune  knits 
the  wretched  closer  to  their  kin. 

[Enter  MESSENGER  in  haste.] 

375 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

SATELLES 

Regina,  dum  tu  flebiles  questus  cies 
terisque  tempus,  saeva  nudatis  adest 
acies  in  armis  ;  aera  iam  bcllum  cient 
aquilaque  pugnam  signifer  mota  vocat ;  890 

septena  reges  bella  dispositi  parant, 
animo  pari  Cadmea  progenies  subit, 
cursu  citato  miles  hinc  atque  hinc  ruit. 
viden  ?     atra  nubes  pulvere  abscondit  diem 
fumoque  similes  campus  in  caelum  erigit 
nebulas,  equestri  fracta  quas  tellus  pede 
summittit  et,  si  vera  metuentes  vident, 
infesta  fulgent  signa,  subrectis  adest 
frons  prima  telis,  aurea  clarum  nota 
nomen  ducum  vexilla  praescriptum  ferunt.  400 

i,  redde  amorem  fratribus,  pacem  omnibus, 
et  impia  arma  matris  oppositu  impedi. 

ANTIGONA 

Perge,  o  parens,  perge  et  cita  celerem  gradum, 
compesce  tela,  fratribus  ferrum  excute, 
nudum  inter  enses  pectus  infestos  tene  ! 
aut  solve  bellum,  mater,  aut  prima  excipe. 

IOCASTA 

Ibo,  ibo  et  armis  obvium  opponam  caput, 
stabo  inter  arma ;  petere  qui  fratrem  volet, 
petat  ante  matrem.     tela,  qui  fuerit  pius, 
rogante  ponat  matre  ;  qui  non  est  pius  410 

incipiat  a  me.     fervidos  iuvenes  anus 
tenebo,  nullum  teste  me  net  nefas  ; 
376 


PHOENISSAE 

MESSENGER 

0  queen,  whilst   thou   art   uttering  tearful  com- 
plaints and  wasting  time,  the  fierce  battle-line  with 
bared  swords  is  at  hand  ;  the  trumpets'  blare  sounds 
to    war,   the    standard-bearer   with    eagle    advanced 
signals  for  contest ;  the  kings,  each  in  his  place,  are 
setting  their  sevenfold  battle   in   array,  while  with 
equal  courage  Cadmus'  race  advances ;  at  the  double- 
quick  the  soldiers  on  either  side  rush  on.     Dost  see 
them  ?     A  dark   cloud   of  dust   hides   the  day ;  the 
plain    lifts    heavenward    dense,    smoke-like    billows 
which  the  earth,  beaten  by  horses'  hoofs,  sends  up ; 
and,  if  terror-stricken  eyes  see  aught  aright,  hostile 
standards  are  gleaming  there  ;  the  front  rank,  with 
lifted   spears,  is  close  at  hand,  and  the  battle-flags 
have  the  leaders'  names  clearly  limned   in   golden 
characters.     Go,  restore  love  to  brothers,  peace  to 
us  all,  and  let  a  mother  be  the  barrier  to  stay  unholy 
arms. 

ANTIGONE 

Hasten,  mother,  hasten  on  flying  feet !  hold  back 
their  weapons,  strike  the  steel  from  my  brothers' 
hands,  set  thy  bared  breast  between  their  hostile 
swords !  Either  stop  the  war,  mother,  or  be  the 
first  to  feel  it. 

JOCASTA 

1  go,  I  go,  and  my  own  life  will  I  set  against  their 
arms  ;  I'll  stand  between  their  arms  ;  and  he  who  shall 
wish  to  attack  his  brother  must  attack  his  mother  first. 
Let  the  more  filial  lay  down  his  arms  at  a  mother's 
prayer ;  let  the  unfilial  begin  with  me.     These  fiery 
youths,  old  though  I  be,  will  I  restrain  ;  there  shall 
be  no  impious  crime  committed  in  my  sight ;  or,  if 

377 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

aut  si  aliquod  et  me  teste  committi  potest, 
non  fiet  unum. 


ANTIGONA 

Signa  collatis  micant 
vicina  signis,  clamor  hostilis  fremit ; 
scelus  in  propinquo  est ;  occupa,  mater,  preces. 
et  ecce  motos  fletibus  credas  meis, 
sic  agmen  armis  segne  compositis  venit. 

SATELLKS 

Procedit  acies  tarda,  sed  properant  duces. 

IOCASTA 

Quis  me  procellae  turbine  insane  vehens  420 

volucer  per  auras  ventus  aetherias  aget  ? 
quae  Sphinx  vel  atra  nube  subtexens  diem 
Stymphalis  avidis  praepetem  pennis  feret  ? 
aut  quae  per  altas  aeris  rapiet  vias 
Harpyia  saevi  regis  observans  famem 
et  inter  acies  proiciet  raptam  duas  ? 

SATELLES 

Vadit  furenti  similis  aut  etiam  furit. 
sagitta  qualis  Parthica  velox  manu 
excussa  fertur,  qualis  insane  ratis 

premente  vento  rapitur,  aut  qualis  cadit  430 

delapsa  caelo  stella,  cum  stringens  polum 
rectam  citatis  ignibus  rumpit  viam, 
attonita  cursu  fugit  et  binas  statim 
diduxit  acies.     victa  materna  prece 
haesere  bella,  iamque  in  alternam  necem 
378 


PHOENISSAE 

e'en  in  my  sight  one  crime  can  be  committed,  it  shall 
not  be  only  one. 

ANTIGONE 

The  opposing  standards  gleam  face  to  face,  the 
hostile  battle-cry  is  sounding,  the  crime  is  near  at 
hand  ;  forestall  it,  mother,  with  thy  prayers  !  And 
see,  you  might  deem  them  moved  by  tears  of  mine, 
so  sluggishly  moves  the  line  with  weapons  held  at 
rest. 

MESSENGER 

The  line  advances  slowly,  but  the  leaders  haste. 

JOCASTA 

What  swift  wind  with  the  storm-blast's  mad  whirl 
will  carry  me  through  the  air  of  heaven?  What 
Sphinx,  what  Stymphalian  bird,  with  its  dark  cloud 
veiling  day,  will  speed  me  headlong  on  eager  wings  ? 
Or  what  Harpy,  hovering  over  the  barbarian  king's  l 
famished  board,  will  hurry  me  along  the  highways 
of  the  air,  hurry  and  fling  me  'twixt  the  two  battle- 
lines? 

[Exit] 

MESSENGER  [looking  after  her] 

She  goes  like  a  mad  thing,  or  is  mad  indeed. 
Swift  as  a  dart  hurled  by  some  Parthian's  hand,  or  as 
a  vessel  driven  on  by  wild,  raging  winds,  or  as  a  star, 
dislodged  from  the  firmament,  when,  sweeping  o'er  the 
heavens,  with  swift  fire  it  cleaves  its  unswerving  way, 
so  has  the  frenzied  queen  sped  on  and  at  once  has 
parted  the  two  battle-lines.  Stayed  by  a  mother's 
prayer  the  battle  hangs  ;  and  now  the  bands,  eager  to 
1  See  Index  s.v.  "Phineus." 

379 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 
illinc  et  hinc  miscere  cupientes  mantis 
librata  dextra  tela  suspensa  tenent. 
paci  favetur,  omnium  ferrum  iacet 
cessatve  tectum  ;  vibrat  in  fratrum  manu. 
laniata  canas  mater  ostendit  comas,  440 

rogat  abnuentes,  inrigat  fletu  genas. 
negare  matri,  qui  diu  dubitat,  potest. 

IOCASTA 

In  me  arma  et  ignes  vertite,  in  me  omnis  ruat 
unam  iuventus  quaeque  ab  Inacbio  venit 
animosa  muro  quaeque  Thebana  ferox 
descendit  arce  ;  civis  atque  hostis  simul 
hunc  petite  ventrem,  qui  dedit  fratres  viro. 
haec  membra  passim  spargite  ac  divellite. 
ego  utrumque  peperi — ponitis  ferrum  ocius  ? 
an  dico  et  ex  quo  ?     dexteras  matri  date,  450 

date  dum  piae  sunt.     error  invitos  adhuc 
fecit  nocentes,  omne  Fortunae  fuit 
peccantis  in  nos  crimen  ;  hoc  primum  nefas 
inter  scientes  geritur.     in  vestra  manu  est, 
utrum  velitis :  sancta  si  pietas  placet, 
donate  matri  pacem l  ;  si  placuit  scelus, 
maius  paratum  est — media  se  opponit  parens. 
proinde  bellum  tollite  aut  belli  moram. 

1  So  Leo  and  Richttr,  with  <a  :  matri  pacta  L.  Midler:  date 
arma  matri  saeva  Tachau  '  domate  Martem  pace  M.  Mutter. 

380 


PHOENISSAE 

join  from  both  sides  in  mutual  slaughter,  hold  their 
swords  poised  in  lifted  hands.  They  incline  to  peace, 
the  swords  of  all  are  lowered,  or  idly  sheathed  ;  but 
they  still  quiver  in  the  brothers'  hands.  The  mother 
shows  them  her  hoary  hair,  tearing  it,  beseeching 
them  as  they  stubbornly  refuse,  and  floods  her  cheeks 
with  weeping.  Who  wavers  long  may  say  his  mother 
"No!" 

[The  scene  shifts  to  the  field  before   Thebes,  between  the 

battle-lines.] 

JOCASTA 

[Kneeling  between  her  two  hostile  sons.] 
Against  me  turn  your  arms  and  torches ;  against 
me  only  let  every  warrior  charge,  both  those  who 
come  with  high  courage  from  the  city  of  Inachus,1 
and  those  who  from  the  Theban  citadel  descend 
thirsting  for  the  fray.  'Townsman  and  enemy,  to- 
"•ether  attack  this  womb  which  bore  my  husband 
brothers.  Rend  these  limbs  asunder  and  scatter 
them  everywhere.  I  bore  you  both — lay  you  not 
down  your  arms  with  speed  ?  Or  shall  I  tell  from 
what  father,  too  ?  Your  right  hands — to  your  mother 
give  them,  give  while  they  are  still  filial.  Ignorance 
till  now  against  our  will  hath  made  us  2  guilty ;  the 
whole  crime  was  Fortune's,  who  sinned  against  us; 
this  is  the  first  crime  wrought  between  those  who 
know.  It  is  yours  to  choose  which  thing  you  will : 
if  holy  affection  please  you,  grant  to  your  mother 
peace  ;  if  crime  has  pleased,  a  greater  is  to  hand — 
your  mother  sets  herself  between  you.  Therefore 
rid  ye  of  strife  or  of  this  stay  of  strife.3 

1  Argos.  2  t  e.  Oedipus  and  Jocasta  especially. 

8  i.e.  or   kill  me  who    stand    between    you   to  stay  your 
fighting. 

381 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

Sollicita  cui  nunc  mater  alterna  prece 
verba  admovebo?    misera  quern  amplectar  prius?  460 
in  utramque  partem  ducor  aflfectu  pari. 
hie  afuit ;  sed  pacta  si  fratrum  valent, 
nunc  alter  aberit.      ergo  iam  numquam  duos 
nisi  sic  videbo  ? 

lunge  complexus  prior, 
qui  tot  labores  totque  perpessus  mala 
longo  parentem  fessus  exilio  vides. 
accede  propius,  elude  vagina  impium 
ensem  et  trementem  iamque  cupientem  excuti 
hastam  solo  defige  ;  maternum  tuo 
coire  pectus  pectori  clipeus  vetat ;  470 

hunc  quoque  repone.     vinculo  frontem  exue 
tegumenque  capitis  triste  belligeri  leva 
et  ora  matri  redde.     quo  vultus  refers 
acieque  pavida  fratris  observas  manum  ? 
affusa  totum  corpus  amplexu  tegam, 
tuo  cruori  per  meum  fiet  via. 
quid  dubius  haeres  ?     an  times  matris  fid  em  ? 

POLYNICES 

Timeo ;  nihil  iam  iura  naturae  valent. 
post  ista  fratrum  exempla  ne  matri  quidem 
fides  habenda  est. 

IOCASTA 

Redde  iam  capulo  manum,          480 
astringe  galeam,  laeva  se  clipeo  inserat ; 
dum  frater  exarmatur,  armatus  mane. 

1  i.e.  in  enmity. 
382 


PHOENISSAE 

459  To  which  of  you  now  shall  your  anxious  mother 
with  alternate  prayers  address  her  words  ?  Whom 
shall  I  in  my  wretchedness  first  embrace  ?  To  both 
sides  am  I  drawn  with  equal  love.  This  son  has 
been  absent  from  me ;  but  if  the  brothers  keep  their 
pact,  now  will  the  other  be  away.  And  shall  I  never 
see  you  both,  save  thus  ?  l 

[Turning  to  POLYNICES] 

464  Come  thou  first  to  thy  mother's  arms,  thou  who 
hast  endured  so  many  toils,  so  many  misfortunes, 
and,  worn  with  long  exile,  seest  thy  mother  at  last. 
Come  nearer,  sheathe  thine  impious  sword,  and  thy 
spear,  which  is  even  now  quivering  and  eager  to  be 
thrown,  thrust  it  in  the  ground.  Thy  shield  keeps 
thee  from  coming  close  to  thy  mother,  breast  to 
breast ;  put  that  by,  too.  Unbind  thy  brow,  take 
the  grim  helmet  from  thy  warlike  head,  and  let  thy 
mother  see  thy  face.  Why  dost  thou  look  away, 
and  with  fearful  glance  watch  thy  brother's  hand  ? 
I  will  cover  thy  whole  body  with  my  protecting 
embrace  and  allow  way  to  thy  blood  only  through 
my  own.  Why  dost  thou  still  halt  in  doubt  ?  Dost 
fear  thy  mother's  pledge  ? 

POLYNICES 

I  am  in  fear ;  no  longer  do  nature's  laws  avail. 
Since  this  example  of  a  brother's  faithlessness,  even 
a  mother's  pledge  may  not  be  trusted. 

JOCASTA 

Put  now  hand  to  hilt  again,  bind  on  thy  helmet, 
let    thy  left    hand    clasp  its  shield ;    and  while  thy 
brother  unarms,  remain  thou  armed. 
[She  turns  to  ETEOCLES.] 

383 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Tu  pone  ferrum,  causa  qui  ferri  es  prior, 
si  pacis  odium  est,  furere  si  bello  placet, 
inducias  te  mater  exiguas  rogat, 
ferat  ut  reverso  post  fugam  nato  oscula 
vel  prima  vel  suprema.     dum  pacem  peto, 
audite  inermes.     ille  te,  tu  ilium  times  ? 
ego  utrumque,  sed  pro  utroque.    quid  strictum  abnuis 
recondere  ensem  ?     qualibet  gaude  mora  ;  490 

id  gerere  bellum  cupitis,  in  quo  est  optimum 
viiici.     vereris  fratris  infesti  dolos  ? 
quotiens  necesse  est  fallere  aut  falli  a  suis, 
patiare  potius  ipse  quam  facias  scelus. 
sed  ne  verere  ;  mater  insidias  et  hinc 
et  rursus  illinc  abiget.     exoro  ?  an  patri 
invideo  vestro  ?     veni  ut  arcerem  nefas 
an  ut  viderem  propius  ?     hie  ferrum  abdidit, 
reclinis  hasta  est,  arma  defixa  incubant. 

Ad  te  preces  nunc,  nate,  maternas  feram,  500 

sed  ante  lacrimas.     teneo  longo  tempore 
petita  votis  ora.     te  profugum  solo 
patrio  penates  regis  externi  tegunt, 
te  maria  tot  diversa,  tot  casus  vagum 
egere.     non  te  duxit  in  thalamos  parens 
comitata  primos,  nee  sua  festas  manu 
ornavit  aedes,  nee  sacra  laetas  faces 
vitta  revinxit ;  dona  non  auro  graves 
gazas  socer,  non  arva,  non  urbes  dedit ; 
dotale  bellum  est.     hostium  es  factus  gener,         510 
patria  remotus  hospes  alieni  laris, 


384 


PHOENISSAE 

488  Do  thou  put  by  the  sword,  who  art  the  sword's 
first  cause.  If  thou  liatest  peace,  if  'tis  thy  pleasure 
to  rage  in  war,  thy  mother  begs  brief  truce  of  thee, 
that  to  her  son  returned  from  exile  she  may  give  a 
kiss — the  first,  perchance  the  last.  While  I  beg  for 
peace,  hearken  ye,  unarmed.  Doth  he  fear  thee ; 
thou,  him  ?  I  fear  you  both,  but  for  the  sake  of 
both.  Why  dost  refuse  to  sheathe  thy  drawn  sword  ? 
Be  glad  of  any  delay  ;  ye  both  seek  to  wage  a  war 
wherein  'twere  best  to  be  o'ercome.  Dost  thou  fear 
thy  hostile  brother's  wiles?  When  one  must  either 
cheat  or  be  cheated  by  one's  own,  do  thou  thyself 
suffer  rather  than  commit  the  crime.  But  do  not 
fear ;  thy  mother  will  shield  thee  from  snares  on 
either  hand.  Do  I  prevail  ?  or  must  I  envy  l  your 
father  ?  Have  I  come  to  prevent  crime  ?  or  to  see 
it  done  before  my  eyes?  [ETEOCLES yields  to  her.]  He 
has  sheathed  his  sword,  his  spear  droops,  his  arms 
are  laid  aside. 

[She  turns  back  to  POLYNICES.] 

500  Now  to  thee,  son,  thy  mother  will  bring  her 
prayers,  but  her  tears  first.  After  a  weary  time  I  hold 
the  face  I  prayed  to  see.  Thee,  an  outcast  from  thy 
native  soil,  the  gods  of  a  foreign  king  protect ;  thee 
many  seas  far  distant,  many  fates  have  driven  wan- 
dering. Thy  mother,  at  thy  side,  did  not  lead  thee 
to  thy  first  bridal  chamber,  nor  with  her  own  hand 
deck  the  festal  hall,  nor  with  sacred  fillets  wreathe 
the  glad  torches.  As  wedding  gifts  no  rich  golden 
treasure,  no  fields,  no  cities  did  thy  father-in-law 
bestow  :  war  is  thy  bridal  gift.  Thou  hast  become 
thine  enemy's  son,  far  from  thy  land,  guest  of  an 

1  i.e.  his  blindness,  which  would  shield  her  from  unhallowed 
sights. 

385 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SKNECA 

externa  consecutus,  expulsus  tuis, 
sine  crimine  exul.     ne  quid  e  fatis  tibi 
desset  paternis,  hoc  quoque  ex  illis  habes, 
eiTasse  thalamis. 

Nate  post  multos  mihi 
remisse  soles,  nate  suspensae  metus 
et  spes  parentis,  cuius  aspectum  deos 
semper  rogavi,  cum  tuus  reditus  mihi 
tantum  esset  erepturus,  adventu  tuo 
quantum  daturus  :  "  quando  pro  te  desinam  "         520 
dixi  "  timere  ?  "     dixit  inridens  deus  : 
"ipsum  timebis."     nempe  nisi  bellum  foret, 
ego  te  carerem ;  nempe  si  tu  non  fores, 
bello  carerem.     a,  triste  conspectus  datur 
pretium  tui  durumque,  sed  matri  placet, 
nine  modo  recedant  arma,  dum  nullum  nefas 
Mars  saevus  audet ;  hoc  quoque  est  magnum  nefas, 
tarn  prope  fuisse.     stupeo  et  exanguis  tremo, 
cum  stare  fratres  hinc  et  hinc  video  duos 
sceleris  sub  ictu.     membra  quassantur  metu  ;         530 
quam  paene  mater  maius  aspexi  nefas, 
quam  quod  miser  videre  non  potuit  pater, 
licet  timore  facinoris  tanti  vacem 
videamque  iam  nil  tale,  sum  infelix  tamen 
quod  paene  vidi. 

Per  decem  mensum  graves 
uteri  labores  perque  pietatem  inclitae 
precor  sororis  et  per  irati  sibi 
genas  parentis,  scelere  quas  nullo  nocens, 
erroris  a  se  dira  supplicia  exigens, 
hausit — nefandas  moenibus  patriis  faces  54-0 

averte,  signa  bellici  retro  agminis 
flecte.     ut  recedas,  magna  pars  sceleris  tameD 
vestri  peracta  est ;  vidit  hostili  grege 

386 


PHOENISSAE 

alien  house,  seeking  another's,  driven  from  thine  own, 
exiled  for  no  fault.  That  thou  mightst  lack  nothing 
of  thy  father's  fates,  this  also  thou  hast  of  them,  that 
thou  hast  erred  in  marriage. 

515  O  son,  returned  to'  me  after  so  many  years,  son, 
fear  and  hope  of  thy  anxious  mother,  for  sight  of 
whom  I  have  ever  prayed  the  gods,  though  thy 
return  was  destined  to  take  as  much  from  me  as  by 
thy  coming  it  could  give  :  "  When  shall  I  cease  to 
fear  for  thee  ?  '  I  cried  ;  and  the  god,  mocking  me, 
answered  :  "  Tis  himself  thou  shalt  fear."  Surely  if 
there  were  no  war,  I  should  be  without  thee ;  surely 
if  thou  wert  not  here,  I  should  be  free  from  war. 
Oh,  bitter  price  and  hard,  to  pay  for  a  sight  of  thee ; 
but  thy  mother  pays  it  willingly.  Only  let  thy  hostile 
hosts  fall  back  while  as  yet  savage  Mars  dares  no 
impious  crime.  Even  this  is  an  outrageous  crime, 
that  they  have  come  so  near.  I  am  appalled ;  pale 
am  I  and  I  tremble  to  see  two  brothers  stand,  one 
here,  one  there,  'neath  guilt's  o'erhanging  stroke. 
My  limbs  quake  with  fear :  how  near  did  I,  thy 
mother,  come  to  seeing  greater  infamy  than  that 
which  thy  wretched  father  could  not  bear  to  see. 
Though  I  am  free  from  fear  of  so  great  a  crime,  and 
now  see  no  such  thing,  still  I  am  unhappy  because  I 
almost  saw  it. 

635  By  the  womb  that  bore  thee  for  ten  weary 
months,  by  the  devotion  of  thy  noble  sister,  by  thy 
self-hating  father's  eyes  which  he,  though  innocent, 
yet,  seeking  to  inflict  on  himself  dire  punishment  for 
his  mistake,  tore  from  their  sockets — save  thy 
country's  walls  from  the  accursed  torch  ;  turn  back 
again  the  standards  of  this  warring  host.  Though 
thou  shouldst  retire,  still  is  the  great  part  of  your  sin 
already  done  ;  thy  country  has  seen  its  plains  o'errun 

387 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

campos  repleri  patria,  fulgentes  procul 

armis  catervas  vidit,  equitatu  levi 

Cadmea  frangi  prata  et  excelsos  rotis 

volitare  proceres,  igne  flagrantes  trabes 

fumare,  cineri  quae  petunt  nostras  domos, 

fratresque  (facinus  quod  novum  et  Thebis  fuit) 

in  se  ruentes.     totus  hoc  exercitus,  550 

hoc  populus  omnis ;  utraque  hoc  vidit  soror 

genetrixque  vidi  :  nam  pater  debet  sibi 

quod  ista  non  spectavit.     occurrat  tibi 

nunc  Oedipus,  quo  iudice  erroris  quoque 

poenae  petuntur.     ne,  precor,  ferro  erue 

patriam  ac  penates  neve,  quas  regere  expetis, 

everte  Thebas.     quis  tenet  mentem  furor  ? 

petendo  patriam  perdis  ?     ut  fiat  tua, 

vis  esse  nullam  ?     quin  tuae  causae  nocet 

ipsum  hoc  quod  armis  uris  infestis  solum  560 

segetesque  adultas  sternis  et  totos  fugam 

edis  per  agros.     nemo  sic  vastat  sua  ; 

quae  corripi  igne,  quae  meti  gladio  iubes 

aliena  credis.     rex  sit  ex  vobis  uter, 

manente  regno  quaerite.     haec  telis  petis 

flammisque  tecta  ?     poteris  has  Amphionis 

quassare  moles  ?     nulla  quas  struxit  manus 

stridente  tardum  machina  ducens  onus, 

sed  convocatus  vocis  et  citharae  sono 

per  se  ipse  summas  venit  in  turres  lapis —  570 

haec  saxa  franges  ?     victor  hinc  spolia  auferes 

vinctosque  duces  patris  aequales  tui, 

matresque  ab  ipso  coniugum  raptas  sinu 

saevus  catena  miles  imposita  trahet  ? 

adulta  virgo,  mixta  captivo  gregi, 

Thebana  nuribus  munus  Argolicis  eat  ? 


388 


PHOENISSAE 

by  hostile  hordes,  has  seen  armed  squadrons  gleaming 
from  afar,  the  Cadmean  meadows  trampled  by  flying 
hoofs,  princes  in  their  chariots  careering  high,  the 
smoke  and  flames  of  blazing  torches  which  seek  to  burn 
our  homes,  and  brothers  (a  crime  new  even  to  Thebes) 
rushing  upon  each  other.  This  crime  the  whole  army 
saw,  this,  all  the  people,  this,  both  thy  sisters  saw  and  I, 
thy  mother,  saw — for  thy  father  owes  it  to  his  own  act 
that  he  beheld  not  such  deeds.  Let  Oedipus  stand 
before  thee  now,  in  whose  judgment  even  for  error 
is  penalty  demanded.  Do  not,  I  beg  of  thee,  with 
the  sword  destroy  thy  country  and  thy  household 
gods,  nor  overthrow  Thebes,  which  thou  seekst  to 
rule.  What  madness  holds  thee  ?  By  seeking  thy 
land  wouldst  wreck  it?  to  make  it  thine,  wouldst 
have  it  no  land  at  all  ?  Nay,  thou  harmst  thine  own 
cause  in  this  very  act  of  harrying  the  land  with 
hostile  arms,  trampling  the  full-grown  crops,  and 
spreading  terror  through  the  whole  country-side. 
No  one  works  such  havoc  on  his  own  ;  what  thou 
bidst  be  plundered  with  fire  and  reaped  with  sword, 
thou  deemst  another's.  Question  whether  of  you 
be  king,  but  let  the  kingdom  stand.  These  homes 
dost  thou  seek  with  sword  and  fire  ?  Wilt  have  the 
heart  to  batter  these  walls  which  Amphion  built, 
whose  stones  no  hand  set  in  place,  moving  the  slow 
weight  with  creaking  crane,  but,  marshalled  by 
sound  of  singing  and  of  lyre,  each  stone  of  its  own 
accord  came  to  the  turrets'  top— wilt  batter  down 
these  stones  ?  Wilt  thou  bear  spoils  hence  as  victor, 
and  shall  conquered  chieftains,  thy  father's  friends, 
and  matrons  torn  from  their  husbands'  very  arms,  be 
led  off  in  chains  by  thy  rough  soldiery?  Shall 
Thebes'  grown  maidens,  mingled  with  the  captive 
herd,  go  as  gifts  to  the  dames  of  Argos  ?  Or  shall 

$89 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

an  et  ipsa,  palmas  vincta  post  tergum  datas, 
mater  triumph i  praeda  fraterni  vehar  ? 
potesne  cives  leto  et  exitio  datos 

videre  passim  ?     moenibus  caris  potes  680 

hostem  admovere,  sanguine  et  flamma  potes 
implere  Thebas  ?     tarn  ferus  durum  geris 
saevumque  in  iras  pectus  ?     et  nondum  imperas — 
quid  sceptra  facient  ?     pone  vaesanos,  precor, 
animi  tumores  teque  pietati  refer. 

POLYNICES 

Vt  profugus  errem  ?  semper  ut  patria  arcear 
opemque  gentis  hospes  externae  sequar  ? 
quid  paterer  aliud,  si  fefellissem  fidem  ? 
si  peierassem  ?     fraudis  alienae  dabo 
poenas,  at  ille  praemium  scelerum  feret?  590 

iubes  abire  ;  matris  imperio  obsequor. 
da  quo  revertar.     regia  frater  mea 
habitet  superbus,  parva  me  abscondat  casa, 
hanc  date  repulso,  liceat  exiguo  lare 
pensare  regnum.     coniugi  donum  datus 
arbitria  thalami  dura  felicis  feram 
humilisque  socerum  lixa  dominantem  sequar  ? 
in  servitutem  cadere  de  regno  grave  est. 

IOCASTA 

Si  regna  quaeris  nee  potest  sceptro  manus 
vacare  saevo,  multa  quae  possunt  peti  600 

in  orbe  toto  quaelibet  tellus  dabit. 
hinc  nota  Baccho  Tmolus  attollit  iuga 
qua  lata  terris  spatia  frugiferis  iacent, 
390 


PHOENISSAE 

I  myself,  with  hands  bound  behind  my  back,  thy 
mother,  be  borne  as  prize  in  thy  triumph  o'er  a 
brother  ?  Canst  thou  bear  to  see  thy  countrymen 
given  to  death  and  destruction  on  every  hand  ? 
Against  these  dear  walls  canst  thou  lead  the  enemy, 
canst  fill  Thebes  with  blood  and  fire  ?  Art  thou  so 
wild,  is  thy  heart  so  hard,  so  full  of  savage  rage  ? 
And  thou  art  not  yet  a  king — what  will  the  sceptre 
do  ?  Oh,  I  beseech  thee,  allay  the  mad  ferment  of 
thy  soul,  and  come  back  to  duty's  ways. 

POLYNICKS 

That  I  may  wander  outcast  ?  That  I  may  be  for 
ever  shut  out  from  my  country  and  as  a  stranger 
look  to  the  bounty  of  an  alien  race  ?  What  worse 
should  I  suffer  if  I  had  broken  faith,  if  I  had  forsworn 
myself?  Am  I  to  pay  the  penalty  of  another's  sin, 
while  he  enjoys  the  profit  of  his  crimes  ?  Thou 
bidst  me  go  ;  I  bend  to  my  mother's  will.  Show 
me  whither  I  shall  get  me  back.  Let  my  haughty 
brother  dwell  in  my  palace,  let  a  little  hut  hide  me 
away  ;  this  grant  to  the  banished  brother,  let  it  be 
mine  to  match  a  kingdom  with  a  paltry  hearth.  A 
wife's  mere  chattel,  shall  I  bear  the  harsh  sway  of  a 
rich  bride  and,  like  a  humble  camp-follower,  attend 
upon  her  domineering  father?  To  fall  from  a  king's 
estate  to  slavery  is  hard. 

JOCASTA 

If  thou  seekst  a  king's  estate,  and  the  harsh 
sceptre  thy  hand  cannot  forego,  any  land  in  the 
whole  world  will  offer  many  kingdoms  to  be  won. 
Here  Tmolus  lifts  his  ridges,  the  Wine-god's  haunts, 
where  stretch  broad  plains  of  grain-producing  lands, 

391 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

et  qua  trahens  opulenta  Pactolus  vada 

inundat  auro  rura  ;  nee  laetis  minus 

Maeandros  arvis  flectit  errantes  aquas, 

rapidusque  campos  fertiles  Hermus  secat. 

hinc  grata  Cereri  Gargara  et  dives  solum 

quod  Xantluis  ambit  nivibus  Idaeis  tumens; 

hinc  qua  relinquit  nomen  lonii  mare  L  610 

faucesque  Abydo  Sestos  opposita  premit; 

aut  qua  latus  2  iam  propior  orienti  dedit 

tutamque  crebris  portibus  Lyciam  videt. 

haec  regna  ferro  quaere,  in  hos  populos  ferat 

socer  arma  fortis,  has  tuo  sceptro  paret 

tradatque  gentes.     hoc  adliuc  regnum  puta 

tenere  patrem.     melius  exilium  est  tibi 

quam  reditus  iste.     crimine  alieno  exulas, 

tuo  redibis.     melius  istis  viribus 

nova  regna  nullo  scelere  maculata  appetes.  620 

quin  ipse  frater  arma  comitatus  tua 

tibi  militabit. 

Vade  et  id  bellum  gere 
in  quo  pater  materque  pugnanti  tibi 
favere  possint.     regna  cum  scelere  omnibus 
sunt  exiliis  graviora.     nunc  belli  mala 
propone,  dubias  Martis  incerti  vices  : 
licet  omne  tecum  Graeciae  robur  trahas, 
licet  arma  longe  miles  ac  late  explicet, 
fortuna  belli  semper  ancipiti  in  loco  est, 
quodcumque  Mars  decernit.     exaequat  duos,          b'30 
licet  impares  sint,  gladius  ;  et  spes  et  metus 
Fors  caeca  versat.     praemium  incertum  petis, 
certum  scelus.     favisse  fac  votis  deos 

1  So  Richfer :   Leo,    with   CD,    maris  :    Biicheler  conjectures 
Ionium  Thetis  :    Wi'amowitz  qua  reliquit  nomen  Inois  mari. 

2  So   Leo,   with  w :  Richter  quae  :  N.    H&n&ius  aut  qua 
Thetis  se. 

392 


PHOENISSAE 

and  where  Pactolus,  rolling  his  rich  waves,  o'erflows 
the  fields  with  gold  ;  nor  does  Meander  through 
meadows  less  joyful  bend  his  wandering  waters,  and 
swift  Hermus  cleaves  the  fertile  plains.  Here  is 
Gargara,  beloved  of  Ceres,  and  the  soil  which  rich 
Xanthus  compasses,  swollen  by  Ida's  snows  ;  here  the 
land  where  the  Ionian  sea  gives  up  its  name,  and 
Sestos,  over  against  Abydos,  hugs  the  narrow  strait1 ; 
or  where,  now  nearer  to  the  east,  it  curves  and  sees 
Lycia  secure  with  its  many  harbours.  These  kingdoms 
seek  thou  with  the  sword  ;  against  these  peoples  let 
thy  brave  father  in-law  bear  arms  ;  these  tribes  let  him 
acquire  and  deliver  to  thy  sway.  As  for  this  king- 
dom, deem  that  thy  father  still  holds  it  fast.  Better 
is  exile  for  thee  than  such  return  as  this.  Through 
another's  sin  thou  livest  in  exile,  through  thine 
own  wilt  thou  return.  With  yonder  forces,  'twere 
better  to  seek  new  realms,  stained  by  no  crime. 
Nay,  thy  brother's  self,  accompanying  thine  arms, 
will  fight  for  thee. 

622  Go  thou,  then,  and  wage  such  warfare  that, 
as  thou  fightest,  thy  father  and  thy  mother  may 
pray  for  thy  success.  Kingdoms  won  by  crime  are 
heavier  than  any  exile.  Now  picture  to  thy- 
self war's  mishaps,  the  wavering  chances  of  un- 
certain Mars :  though  thou  bring  with  thee  the 
whole  strength  of  Greece,  though  thy  armed  soldiery 
spread  far  and  wide,  the  fortune  of  war  hangs  ever 
in  doubtful  scale,  according  as  Mars  determines.  The 
sword  makes  two  warriors  equal  though  they  be  ill- 
matched  ;  both  hope  and  fear  are  in  blind  Fortune's 
hand.  The  prize  thou  seekst  is  uncertain  ;  certain, 
the  crime.  Grant  that  all  the  gods  have  been 

1  The  Hellespont 

393 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

omnes  tuis  ;  cessere  et  aversi  fugam 

petiere  cives,  clade  funesta  iacens 

obtexit  agros  miles — exultes  licet 

victorque  fratris  spolia  deiecti  geras, 

frangenda  palma  est.     quale  tu  hoc  bellum  putas, 

in  quo  execrandum  victor  admittit  nefas, 

si  gaudet  ?     hunc  quern  vincere  infelix  cupis,        640 

cum  viceris,  lugebis.     infaustas  age 

dimitte  pugnas,  libera  patriam  metu, 

luctu  parentes. 

POLYNICES 

Sceleris  et  fraudis  suae 
poenas  nefandus  frater  ut  nullas  ferat  ? 

IOCASTA 

Ne  metue.     poenas  et  quidem  solvet  graves : 
regnabit.     est  haec  poena.     si  dubitas,  avo 
patrique  crede  ;  Cadmus  hoc  dicet  tibi 
Cadmique  proles,     sceptra  Thebano  fuit 
impune  nulli  gerere,  nee  quisquam  fide 
rupta  tenebit  ilia,     iam  numeres  licet  650 

fratrem  inter  istos. 

ETEOCLES 

Numeret,  est  tanti  mihi 

cum  regibus  iacere.     te  turbae  exulum 
ascribe. 

IOCASTA 

Regna,  dummodo  invisus  tuis. 
394 


PHOENISSAE 

favourable  to  thy  prayers  ;  grant  that  the  citizens 
have  given  way,  that  they  have  turned  and  fled,  that 
soldiers,  lying  in  bloody  heaps,  cover  the  fields— 
though  thou  shouldst  triumph  and  as  victor  bear  off 
the  spoils  of  thy  conquered  brother,  broken  must 
be  the  victor's  palm.  What  manner  of  war  deemst 
thou  that,  wherein  the  conqueror  takes  on  him  the 
curse  of  guilt  if  he  rejoices?  Him  whom,  unhappy 
man,  thou  art  so  eager  to  o'ercome,  when  thou  hast 
o'ercome  thou  wilt  lament.  Oh,  then,  forego  this 
unhallowed  strife,  free  thy  country  from  fear,  from 
agony  thy  parents. 

POLYNICES 

That  my  cursed  brother  may  receive  no  penalty 
for  his  crime  and  treachery  ? 

JOCASTA 

Have  no  fear.  Penalty,  yes,  heavy  penalty  shall  he 
pay  :  he  shall  reign.  That  is  the  penalty.  If  thou  dost 
doubt  it,  believe  thy  grandsire  and  thy  sire  ;  Cadmus 
will  tell  thee  this,  and  the  race  of  Cadmus.  No 
Theban  hath  e'er  borne  sceptre  without  penalty,  nor 
will  any  hold  it  who  has  broken  faith.  Now  mayst 
thou  count  thy  brother  amongst  these. 

ETEOCLES 

So  let  him  count  me ;  'tis  worth  the  price,  me- 
thinks,  to  lie  with  kings. 

[To  POLYNICES.] 
652  Thee  I  enrol  amongst  the  exiled  throng. 

JOCASTA 
Reign,  then,  but  hated  by  thy  people, 

895 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

ETEOCLES 

Regnare  non  vult  esse  qui  invisus  timet ; 
simul  ista  mundi  conditor  posuit  deus, 
odium  atque  regnum.     regis  hoc  magni  reor, 
odia  ipsa  premere.     multa  dominantem  vetat 
amor  suorum  ;  plus  in  iratos  licet, 
qui  vult  amari,  languida  regnat  manu. 

IOCASTA 
Invisa  numquam  imperia  retinentur  diu  660 

ETEOCLES 

Praecepta  melius  imperi  reges  dabunt ; 
exilia  tu  dispone.     pro  regno  velim — 

IOCASTA 
Patriam  penates  coniugem  flammis  dare  ? 

ETEOCLES 
Imperia  pretio  quolibet  constant  bene. 

***** 


396 


PHOENISSAE 

ETEOCLES 

To  reign  he  hath  no  will  who  feareth  to  be  hated ; 
the  god  who  made  the  world  set  those  two  things 
together,  hatred  and  sovereignty.  This  is  the  part 
of  a  great  sovereign,  I  think,  to  tread  e'en  hatred 
under  foot.  A  people's  love  forbids  a  ruler  many 
things  ;  against  their  rage  he  has  more  rights.  Who 
would  be  loved  reigns  with  a  nerveless  hand. 

JOCASTA 
But  hated  sovereignty  is  never  long  retained. 

ETEOCLES 

The  rules  for  sovereignty  kings  will  better  give  ; 
do  thou  make  rules  for  exiles.  For  sovereignty  I 
would  fain — 

JOCASTA 

Give  country,  home,  wife  to  the  flames  ? 

ETEOCLES 

Sovereignty  is  well  bought  at  any  price. 
***** 


S97 


OCTAVIA 


OCTAVIA 

A  FABULA  PRAETEXTA 

THE  ONLY  EXTANT   ROMAN  HISTORICAL 

DRAMA 

INTRODUCTION 

THE  Roman  historical  drama  had  a  place  among 
the  earliest  products  of  Roman  literature,  and  seems 
to  have  enjoyed  a  degree  of  popularity  through  all 
succeding  periods.  That  Roman  literary  genius  did 
not  find  a  much  fuller  expression  through  this 
channel  was  not  due  to  a  lack  of  national  pride  and 
patriotism,  nor  yet  to  a  dearth  of  interesting  and 
inspiring  subjects  in  Roman  history.  The  true  reason 
is  probably  to  be  found  in  the  fact  that  by  the  time 
national  conditions  were  ripe  for  the  development  of 
any  form  of  literature,  the  Greeks  had  already  worked, 
and  well  worked,  nearly  all  available  fields,  and  had 
produced  a  mass  of  literature  which  dazzled  the 
Roman  mind  when  at  last  circumstances  brought 
these  two  nations  into  closer  contact. 

The  natural  and  immediate  result  was  an  attempt 
on  the  part  of  the  Romans  to  imitate  these  great 
models.  And  hence  we  have  in  drama,  both  in 
tragedy  and  in  comedy,  a  wholesale  imitation  of  the 
Greek  dramas,  oftentimes  nothing  more  than  a  trans- 
lation of  these,  with  only  here  and  there  an  attempt 
to  produce  something  of  a  strictly  native  character, 
entirely  independent  of  the  Greek  influence. 

This  imitative  impulse  was  augmented  by  the  fact 

401 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

that  the  Romans  were  following  the  line  of  least 
resistance,  since  it  is  always  easier  to  imitate  than 
to  create.  Furthermore,  they  had  as  yet  developed 
no  national  pride  of  literature  to  hold  them  to  their 
own  lines  of  national  development  ;  they  had  no 
forms  of  their  own  so  well  established  that  the  mere 
force  of  literary  momentum  would  carry  them  steadily 
on  toward  a  fuller  development,  in  spite  of  the  dis- 
turbing effects  of  the  influx  of  other  and  better  models. 
They  had,  indeed,  developed  a  native  Saturnian  verse 
which,  had  it  been  allowed  a  free  field,  might  have 
reached  a  high  pitch  of  literary  excellence.  But  it 
speedily  gave  way  at  the  approach  of  the  more  elegant 
imported  forms. 

The  overwhelming  influence  of  Greek  tragedy  upon 
the  Roman  dramatists  can  be  seen  at  a  glance  as  we 
review  the  dramatic  product  of  the  Roman  tragedians. 
We  have  titles  and  fragments  of  nine  tragedies  by 
Livius  Andronicus,  seven  by  Naevius,  twenty-two  by 
Ennius,  thirteen  by  Pacuvius,  forty-six  by  Accius,  and 
many  fragments  from  each  of  these,  unassignable  to 
definite  plays,  which  indicate  numerous  other  plays  of 
the  same  character.  To  these  should  be  added  addi- 
tional fragments  from  nearly  a  score  more  of  Roman 
writers  during  the  next  two  hundred  yeaj*s  after 
Accius.  All  the  above-mentioned  plays  are  on  Greek 
subjects  ;  and  most  of  those  whose  fragments  are  suf- 
ficiently extensive  to  allow  us  to  form  an  opinion  of 
their  character  are  either  translations  or  close  imita- 
tions of  the  Greeks,  or  are  so  influenced  by  these  as  to 
be  decidedly  Greek  rather  than  Roman  in  character. 

And  what  of  the  genuine  Roman  dramatic  product  ? 
Speaking  for  the  fabula  praetexta,  or  Roman  historical 
drama,  alone,  the  entire  output,  so  far  as  our  records 
go,  is  contained  in  the  following  list  of  authors  and 
titles. 

402 


OCTAVIA 

From  Naevius  (265-204  B.C.)  we  have  the  Clastidium, 
written  in  celebration  of  the  victory  of  Marcellus  (at 
Clastidium  in  222  B.C.)  over  Vidumarus,  king  of  the 
Transpadane  Gauls,  whom  Marcellus  slew  and  stripped 
of  his  armour,  thus  gaining  the  rare  spolia  opima.  The 
play  was  probably  written  for  the  especial  occasion 
either  of  the  triumph  of  Marcellus  or  of  the  celebra- 
tion of  his  funeral. 

We  have  also  from  Naevius  a  play  variously  entitled 
Lupus  or  Romulus  or  Alimonium  Remi  et  Romuli, 
evidently  one  of  those  dramatic  reproductions  of 
scenes  in  the  life  of  a  god,  enacted  as  a  part  of  the 
ceremonies  of  his  worship.  This  play  is  comparable 
to  dramatic  representations  among  the  Greeks  in  the 
worship  of  Dionysus. 

The  Ambracia  and  the  Sabinae  of  Ennius  (239-169 
B.C.)  are  ordinarily  classed  as  fabulae  praetextae, 
although  Lucian  Miiller  classes  the  fragments  of 
the  Ambracia  among  the  Saturae  of  Ennius ;  while 
Vahlen  puts  the  Ambracia  under  the  heading  Comoe- 
diarum  et  ceterormn  carminum  reliquiae,  and  classifies 
the  fragments  of  the  Sabinae  under  ex  incertis  satur- 
arum  libris.  The  Ambracia  is  evidently  called  after 
the  city  of  that  name  in  Epirus,  celebrated  for  the 
long  and  remarkable  siege  which  it  sustained  against 
the  Romans  under  M.  Fulvius  Nobilior.  That  general 
finally  captured  the  city  in  189  B.C.  If  the  piece  is 
to  be  considered  as  a  play,  it  was,  like  the  Clastidium, 
written  in  honour  of  the  Roman  general,  and  acted  on 
the  occasion  either  of  his  triumph  or  of  his  funeral. 

We  have  four  short  fragments  from  the  Paulus  of 
Pacuvius  (220-130  B.C.),  written  in  celebration  of  the 
exploits  of  L.  Aemilius  Paulus  who  conquered  Perseus, 
king  of  Macedonia,  in  the  battle  of  Pydna,  168  B.C. 

The    fragments   of  the   plays  already  mentioned 

403 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

are  too  brief  to  afford  any  adequate  idea  of  their 
character  or  content.  But  in  the  Brutus  of  Accius 
(b.  170.  B.C.),  which  centres  around  the  expulsion 
of  the  Tarquins  and  the  establishment  of  the  Re- 
public, we  have  a  larger  glimpse  into  the  play 
through  two  most  interesting  fragments  consisting 
of  twelve  iambic  trimeters  and  ten  trochaic  tetra- 
meters, respectively.  In  the  first,  King  Tarquin  re- 
lates to  his  seer  an  ill-ominous  dream  which  he  has 
had  ;  the  second  is  the  seer's  interpretation  of  this 
dream,  pointing  to  Tarquin's  dethronement  by  Brutus. 
Other  short  fragments  give  glimpses  of  the  outrage 
of  Lucretia  by  Sextus  at  Collatia,  and  the  scene  in 
the  forum  where  Brutus  takes  his  oath  of  office  as 
first  consul.  This  play,  unlike  most  of  its  predecessors, 
was  not  written  at  the  time  of  the  events  which  it 
portrays,  but  may  still  be  classed  with  them,  so  far  as 
its  object  is  concerned,  since  it  is  generally  thought 
to  have  been  written  in  honour  of  D.  Junius  Brutus, 
who  was  consul  in  138  B.C.,  and  with  whom  the  poet 
enjoyed  an  intimate  friendship. 

Another  praetexta  of  Accius  is  preserved,  the  Decius, 
of  which  eleven  short  fragments  remain.  This  play 
celebrates  the  victory  of  Quintus  Fabius  Maximus 
and  P.  Decius  Mus  over  the  Samnites  and  Gauls  at 
Sentinum  in  295  B.C.  The  climax  of  the  play  would 
be  the  self-immolation  of  Decius  after  the  example 
of  his  father  in  the  Latin  war  of  340  B.C. 

In  addition  to  these  plays  of  the  Roman  dramatists 
of  the  Republic,  we  have  knowledge  of  a  few  which 
date  from  later  times.  There  was  a  historical  drama 
entitled  Iter,  by  L.  Cornelius  Balbus,  who  dramatized 
the  incidents  of  a  journey  which  he  made  to  Pompey's 
camp  at  Dyrrachium  at  the  opening  of  civil  war  in 
49  B.C.  Balbus  was  under  commission  from  Caesar 

4-04. 


OCTAVIA 

to  treat  with  the  consul,  L.  Cornelius  Lentulus,  and 
other  optimates  who  had  fled  from  Rome,  concerning 
their  return  to  the  city.  The  journey  was  a  complete 
fiasco,  so  far  as  results  were  concerned ;  but  the 
vanity  of  Balbus  was  so  flattered  by  this  (to  him) 
important  mission  that  he  must  needs  dramatize  his 
experiences  and  present  the  play  under  his  own 
direction  in  his  native  city  of  Gades. 

We  have  mention  also  of  an  Aeneas  by  Pomponius 
Secundus,  and  of  two  praetextae  by  Curiatius  Maternus, 
entitled  Domitius  and  Cato. 

These  eleven  historical  plays  are,  as  we  have  seen, 
for  the  most  part,  plays  of  occasion,  and  would  be  at 
best  of  but  temporary  interest,  born  of  the  special 
circumstances  which  inspired  them.  They  are  in  no 
way  comparable  with  such  historical  dramas  on  Roman 
subjects  as  Shakespeare's  Julius  Caesar  or  Coriolanus, 
whose  interest  is  for  all  times. 

We  have  still  a  twelfth  play  of  this  class,  which 
enjoys  the  unique  distinction  of  being  the  only 
Roman  historical  drama  which  has  come  down  to  us 
in  its  complete  form — the  Octavia.  Its  authorship  is 
unknown,  although  tradition  gives  it  a  place  among 
the  tragedies  of  Seneca,  the  philosopher.  The 
general  opinion  of  modern  critics,  however,  is 
against  this  tradition,  chiefly  because  one  passage 
in  the  play,  in  the  form  of  a  prophecy,  too  circum- 
stantially describes  the  death  of  Nero,  which  occurred 
three  years  after  the  death  of  Seneca.  It  is  generally 
agreed  that  the  play  must  have  been  written  soon 
after  the  death  of  Nero,  and  by  some  one,  possibly 
Maternus,  who  had  been  an  eye-witness  of  the 
events,  and  who  had  been  inspired  by  his  sympathies 
for  the  unfortunate  Octavia  to  write  this  story  of  her 


sufferings. 


405 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 


SUMMARY  OF  THE  IMPERIAL  FAMILY  HISTORY  WHICH 
FORMS  A  BACKGROUND  TO  THE  Octavia  AND  TO 
WHICH  REFERENCES  ARE  MADE  THROUGHOUT  THE 
PLAY. 

TIBERIUS  CLAUDIUS  DRUSUS  NERO  CAESAR  GER- 
MANICUS,  more  commonly  known  as  Claudius,  fourth 
emperor  of  Rome,  had  taken  for  his  third  wife  the 
daughter  of  M.  Valerius  Messala,  Messalina,  who 
bore  to  him  two  children,  Britannicus  and  Octavia. 
Always  notorious  for  her  profligacy  and  licentiousness, 
Messalina  crowned  her  career  by  publicly  marrying 
C.  Silius  at  Rome  during  the  temporary  sojourn  of 
her  imperial  husband  at  Ostia.  Claudius  long  wavered 
as  to  her  punishment,  but  at  last,  through  the  influence 
of  his  favourite,  Narcissus,  he  signed  her  death 
warrant,  and  she  was  executed  by  a  tribune  of  the 
guards  in  48  A.D. 

In  the  following  year,  through  the  intrigue  of  the 
freedman  Pallas,  Claudius  married  his  brother's 
daughter,  Agrippina,  who  brought  with  her  into  the 
emperor's  household  Lucius  Domitius,  her  son  by 
her  first  husband,  Cn.  Domitius  Ahenobarbus. 

Immediately  Agrippina  began  to  plot  for  the 
succession  of  her  son  to  the  throne  of  the  Caesars. 
In  50  A.D.  she  prevailed  upon  Claudius  to  adopt,  to 
the  prejudice  of  Britannicus,  her  own  son,  who  was 
thereafter  known  as  Nero.  She  had  already  caused 
Seneca,  who  had  been  exiled  at  the  instance  of 
Messalina,  to  be  recalled  that  he  might  serve  as 

406 


OCTAVIA 

Nero's  tutor.  In  53  A.D.  she  further  advanced 
her  plans  by  compassing  the  marriage  of  her  son  to 
Octavia,  the  emperor's  daughter.  Octavia  had  already 
been  betrothed  by  Claudius  to  L.  Silanus,  who  now, 
to  escape  the  vengeance  of  Agrippina,  committed 
suicide. 

Her  plans  being  now  fully  laid  for  the  final  act, 
Agrippina  secretly  poisoned  Claudius  on  October  12th, 
54  A.D.,  and  on  the  following  day  Nero  succeeded 
to  the  throne,  being  then  seventeen  years  of  age. 
In  the  following  year,  by  the  joint  plotting  of 
mother  and  son,  the  young  Britannicus,  also,  was 
poisoned. 

Because  of  the  youth  and  inexperience  of  her  son, 
Agrippina  enjoyed  four  years  of  practically  imperial 
power ;  but  at  last,  in  59  A.D.,  Nero,  tired  of  his 
mother's  ascendancy,  caused  her  to  be  assassinated, 
after  an  unsuccessful  attempt  upon  her  life  by  means 
of  a  treacherous  vessel,  in  which  death-trap  he  had 
sent  her  to  sea. 

Nero  had  long  since  become  enamoured  of  Poppaea, 
a  beautiful  profligate,  who  had  left  her  husband, 
Rufinus  Crispinus,  to  live  with  Otho,  and  who  now 
became  mistress  of  the  emperor.  Aspiring  to  be  his 
wife,  she  had  plotted  to  bring  about  the  death  of 
Agrippina  and  later  the  divorce  of  Octavia.  Through 
these  machinations  of  his  mistress  and  Nero's  own 
more  than  ready  acquiescence,  Octavia  was  falsely 
accused  of  adultery  and  in  62  A.D.  she  was  banished 
to  Pandataria,  where  she  was  shortly  afterwards  put 
to  death. 

Poppaea  herself  died  in  65  A.D.  as  the  result,  it 
was  said,  of  a  kick  by  her  brutal  husband  when  she 
was  far  advanced  in  pregnancy.  In  the  same  year, 
at  the  command  of  the  emperor,  Seneca  committed 

407 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF  SENECA 

suicide ;  and  three  years  thereafter,  in  68  A.D.,  Nero 
himself,  deposed  by  the  praetorian  guards,  who  had 
espoused  the  cause  of  Galba,  and  condemned  to 
death  by  the  Senate,  fled  from  Rome  and,  after  vain 
efforts  to  escape,  received  his  death-stroke  by  his 
own  request  at  the  hands  of  a  faithful  attendant 
who  had  fled  with  him. 


408 


DRAMATIS  PERSON AE 

OOTAVIA,  step-sister  and  wife  of  Nero. 

NURSE  of  Octavia. 

POPPAEA,  mistress  and  afterward  wife  of  Nero. 

NURSE  of  Poppaea. 

GHOST  OF  AGRIPPINA,  mother  of  Nero,  slain  by  him. 

NERO,  Emperor  of  Some. 

SENECA,  former  tutor  of  Nero,  and  later  one  of  his  chief 
counsellors. 

PREFECT  OF  ROMAN  SOLDIERS. 

MESSENGER. 

CHORUS  or  ROMANS,  sympathetic  with  Octavia. 

CHORUS,  attached  to  the  interests  of  the  court. 

THE  SCENE  is  laid  throughout  in  different  apartments  of 
the  palace  of  Nero,  and  is  concerned  with  the  events  of  the 
year  62  A.  D. 


OCTAVIA 

OCTAVIA 

IAM  vaga  caelo  sidera  fulgens 
Aurora  fugat,  surgit  Titan 
radiante  coma  mundoque  diem 
reddit  clarum. 

age,  tot  tantis  onerata  malis, 
repete  assuetos  iam  tibi  questus 
atque  aequoreas  vince  Alcyonas, 
vince  et  volucres  Pandionias  ; 
gravior  namque  his  fortuna  tua  est. 
semper,  genetrix,  deflenda  rnihi,  10 

priina  meorum  causa  malorum, 
tristes  questus  natae  exaudi, 
si  quis  remanet  sensus  in  umbris. 
utinam  ante  manu  grandaeva  sua 
mea  rupisset  stamina  Clotho, 
tua  quam  maerens  vulnera  vidi 
oraque  foedo  sparsa  cruore  ! 
o  lux  semper  funesta  mihi, 
tempore  ab  illo 

lux  es  tenebris  invisa  magis  !  20 

tulimus  saevae  iussa  novercae, 
hostilem  animum  vultusque  truces, 
ilia  ilia  meis  tristis  Erinys 
thalamis  Stygios  praetulit  ignes 
teque  extinxit,  miserande  pater, 
modo  cui  totus  paruit  orbis 
ultra  Oceanum 

410 


OCTAVIA 

OCTAVIA 

Now  doth  flushing  dawn  drive  the  wandering  stars 
from  heaven  ;  with  radiant  beams  the  sun  arises  and 
gives  the  world  once  more  the  light  of  day.  On 
then,  with  all  thy  woes  weighed  down,  resume  thy 
now  accustomed  plaints  and  out-wail  the  sea-bred 
Halcyons,1  out-wail  the  birds 2  of  old  Pandion's 
house  ;  for  more  grievous  is  thy  lot  than  theirs. 
O  mother,  constant  source  of  tears  to  me,  first 
cause  of  my  misfortunes,  hearken  to  thy  daughter's 
sad  complaints,  if  any  consciousness  remains  among 
the  shades.  Oh,  that  the  ancient  Clotho  with  her 
own  hand  had  clipped  my  threads  before  sadly  I  saw 
thy  wounds,  thy  face  with  foul  gore  besmeared  !  O 
light,  ever  calamitous  to  me,  from  that  time,  O  light, 
thou  art  more  hateful  than  the  dark  !  We  have 
endured  a  cruel  step-dame's3  orders,  her  hostile 
spirit  and  her  aspect  fierce.  'Twas  she,  'twas  she, 
the  baleful  fury,  who  bore  the  Stygian  torches  to  my 
bridal  chamber,  and  quenched  thy  light,  O  wretched 
father,  whom  but  yesterday  the  whole  world  obeyed, 
even  beyond  Ocean's  bounds,  before  whom  the 

1  See  Index  s.v.  "  Ceyx." 

2  See  Index  s.v.  "Philomela." 
*  Agrippina. 

411 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

cuique  Britanni  terga  dedere, 

ducibus  nostris  ante  ignoti 

iurisque  sui.  SO 

coniugis,  heu  me,  pater,  insidiis 

oppresse  iaces  servitque  domus 

cum  prole  tua  capta  tyranno. 

NVTRIX 

Fulgore  primo  captus  et  fragili  bono  1 
fallacis  aulae  quisquis  attonitus  stupet, 
subito2  latentis  ecce  Fortunae  impetu 
modo  praepotentem  cernat  eversam  domum 
stirpemque  Claudi,  cuius  imperio  fuit 
subiectus  orbis,  paruit  liber  diu 

Oceanus  et  recepit  invitus  rates.  40 

en  qui  Britannis  primus  imposuit  iugum, 
ignota  tantis  classibus  texit  freta 
interque  gentes  barbaras  tutus  fuit 
et  saeva  maria,  coniugis  scelere  occidit ; 
mox  ilia  nati ;  cuius  extinctus  iacet 
frater  venenis.     maeret  infelix  soror 
eademque  coniunx  nee  graves  luctus  valet 
ira  coacta  tegere  crudelis  viri ; 
quern  sancta  refugit  semper,  atque  odio  pari 
ardens  maritus  impia  flagrat  face.  50 

animum  dolentis  nostra  solatur  fides 
pietasque  frustra  ;  vincit  immitis  dolor 
consilia  nostra  nee  regi  mentis  potest 
generosus  ardor,  sed  malis  vires  capit. 
heu  quam  nefandum  prospicit  noster  timor 
seel  us,  quod  utinam  numen  aver  tat  deum. 

1  So  Richter:  Leo  conjectures  facie  nova. 

2  So  Richter  •  Leo  sub  uno,  with  n*,  but  conjectures  subito 
involantis. 

412 


OCTAVIA 

Britons1  fled,  erstwhile  to  our  leaders  all  unknown 
and  unsubdued.  Alas,  my  father,  by  thy  wife's  plots 
thou  liest  crushed,  and  thy  house  together  with  thy 
child  2  bends  to  a  tyrant's  3  will. 

[Exit  to  her  chamber.    Enter  NURSE.] 

NURSE 

Whoso,  o'erpowered  by  the  novel  splendour  and 
the  frail  blessings  of  deceitful  royalty,  stands  awe- 
struck and  amazed,  lo,  'neath  the  sudden  blow  of 
lurking  Fate,  let  him  behold,  o'erthrown,  the  house 
and  stock  of  Claudius,  but  now  all  powerful,  under 
whose  rule  the  whole  world  was  brought,  whom  the 
Ocean,  long  to  sway  unknown,  obeyed  and,  all  un- 
willingly, received  his  ships.  Lo,  he  who  first  on 
the  Britons  set  a  yoke,  who  covered  unknown  floods 
with  his  mighty  fleets,  who  was  safe  midst  tribes 
barbaric,  midst  raging  seas,  by  his  wife's4  crime  is 
fallen  ;  she  soon  by  her  son's  hand  fell  ;  and  by  his 
poison  lies  my  brother  5  slain.  The  unhappy  sister,6 
yea,  the  unhappy  wife  grieves  on,  nor  can  she  hide 
her  bitter  sufferings,  forced  to  the  angry  will  of  her 
cruel  husband.  From  him  ever  the  pure  girl  recoils, 
and  her  husband,  though  by  equal  hate  inspired, 
with  incestuous  passion  burns.  Our  fond  love  strives 
in  vain  to  console  her  grieving  heart ;  her  cruel 
smart  o'ercomes  our  counsels,  nor  can  the  noble  pas- 
sion of  her  soul  be  governed,  but  from  her  woes  she 
draws  new  strength.  Alas  !  how  my  fears  forbode 
some  desperate  deed,  which  may  the  gods  forbid. 

1  Claudius  had  made  an  expedition  to  Britain  in  43  A.D. 

2  i.e.  herself.  3  Nero. 

4  Agrippina.  6  Britannicus. 

6  i.e.  step-sister,  Octavia ;  she  was  also  Nero's  sister  by 
adoption. 

413 


414. 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

OCTAVIA 

O  mea  nullis  aequanda  malis 
fortuna,  licet 

repetam  luctus,  Electra  tuos. 
tibi  maerenti  caesum  licuit  60 

flere  parentem, 
seel  us  ulcisci  vindice  fratre, 
tua  quern  pietas  hosti  rapuit 
texitque  fides ; 
me  crudeli  sorte  parentes 
raptos  prohibet  lugere  timor 
fratrisque  necem  deflere  vetat, 
in  quo  fuerat  spes  una  mihi 
totque  malorum  breve  solamen. 
nunc  in  luctus  servata  meos  70 

magni  resto  nominis  umbra. 

NVTRIX 

Vox  en  iiostras  perculit  aures 
tristis  alumnae  ;  cesset  thalamis 
inferre  gradus  tarda  senectus  ? 

OCTAVIA 

Excipe  nostras  lacrimas,  nutrix, 
testis  nostri  fida  doloris. 

NVTRIX 

Quis  te  tantis  solvet  curis, 
miseranda,  dies  ? 

OCTAVIA 

Qtii  me  Stygias  mittet  ad  umbras. 

NVTRIX 
Omina  quaeso  sint  ista  procul.  80 


OCTAVIA 

OCTAVIA   [heard  speaking  from  her  chamber] 

O  fate  of  mine,  to  be  matched  by  no  misfortunes, 
though  I  recall  thy  woes,  Electra.  Thou  couldst 
weep  out  thy  grief  for  thy  father's  murder,  couldst 
take  vengeance  on  the  crime  with  thy  brother  as 
avenger,  whom  thy  love  snatched  from  the  foe  and 
thy  faithful  care  protected  ;  but  me  fear  forbids  to 
mourn  my  parents  reft  from  me  by  cruel  fate,  forbids 
to  bewail  my  brother's  taking  off",  in  whom  was  my 
sole  hope,  the  fleeting  solace  of  my  many  woes.  And 
now,  saved  but  to  my  suffering,  I  remain,  the  shadow 
of  a  noble  name. 

NURSE 

Hark !  the  voice  of  my  sad  foster-child  strikes  on 
mine  ears.  Does  thy  slow  age  take  thee  to  her 
chamber  with  lagging  steps  ? 

[She  advances  toward  the  chamber,  but  is  met  by  Octavia, 

coming  forth.] 

OCTAVIA 

Receive  my  tears,  dear  nurse,  thou  trusty  witness 

of  my  suffering. 

NURSE 

What  day  will  free  thee  from  thy  mighty  cares, 
poor  child  ? 

OCTAVIA 

The  day  that  sends  me  to  the  Stygian  shades. 


NURSE 
Far  from  us  be  the  omen  of  that  word,  I  pray. 


415 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

OCTAVIA 

Non  vota  meos  tua  nunc  casus, 
sed  fata  regunt. 

NVTRIX 

Dabit  afflictae  meliora  deus 
tempora  mitis  ;  tu  modo  blando 
vince  obsequio  placata  virum. 

OCTAVIA 

Vincam  saevos  ante  leones 
tigresque  truces,  fera  quam  saevi 
corda  tyranni. 
odit  genitos  sanguine  claro, 
spernit  superos  hominesque  simul,  90 

nee  fortunam  capit  ipse  suam 
quam  dedit  illi  per  scelus  ingens 
infanda  parens.     licet  ingratum 
dirae  pudeat  munere  matris 
hoc  imperium  cepisse,  licet 
tantum  munus  morte  rependat, 
feret  hunc  titulum  post  fata  tamen 
feraina  longo  semper  in  aevo. 

NVTRIX 

Animi  retine  verba  furentis, 
temere  emissam  comprime  vocem. 

OCTAVIA 

Toleranda  quamvis  patiar,  baud  umquam  que- 

ant  100 

nisi  morte  tristi  nostra  finiri  mala, 
genetrice  caesa,  per  scelus  rapto  patre, 
orbata  fratre,  miseriis  luctu  obruta, 
maerore  pressa,  coniugi  invisa  ac  meae 
4-16 


OCTAVIA 

OCTAVIA 

No  longer  is  it  thy  prayers  that  shape  my  life  but 

the  fates. 

NURSE 

God  in  his  mercy  will  bring  to  thine  affliction 
better  days.  Do  thou  but  be  soothed,  and  win  thy 
husband  with  gentle  courtesy. 

OCTAVIA 

Sooner  shall  I  win  savage  lions  and  fierce  tigers, 
than  that  savage  tyrant's  brutal  heart.  He  hates  all 
born  of  noble  blood,  scorns  gods  and  men  alike  ;  nor 
can  he  of  himself  wield  his  high  fortune  which  by  a 
monstrous  crime  his  impious  mother  bestowed  on 
him.  Yes  !  though  the  ungrateful  wretch  count  it 
shame  to  take  this  empire  as  his  cursed  mother's 
gift,  though  he  requite  her  mighty  gift  with  death, 
still  will  the  woman  even  after  death  win  the  fame 
thereof  for  ever  through  unending  age. 

NURSE 

Check  thou  the  utterance  of  thy  raging  heart ; 
repress  the  words  thou  hast  poured  forth  too  rashly. 

OCTAVIA 

Though  I  should  endure  what  must  be  borne,  ne'er 
could  my  woes  be  ended,  save  by  gloomy  death. 
With  my  mother  slain,  my  father  by  crime  snatched 
from  me,  robbed  of  my  brother,  by  wretchedness  and 
grief  o'erwhelmed,  by  sorrow  crushed,  by  my  husband 

417 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

subiecta  famulae  luce  non  grata  fruor, 

trepidante  semper  corde  non  mortis  metu 

sed  sceleris — absit  crimen  a  fatis  meis, 

mori  iuvabit ;  poena  nam  gravior  nece  est 

videre  tumidos  et  truces  miserae  mihi 

vultus  tyranni  iungere  atque  host!  oscula,  110 

timere  nutus  cuius  obsequium  meus 

baud  ferre  posset  fata  post  fratris  dolor 

scelere  interempti,  cuius  imperium  tenet 

et  sorte  gaudet  auctor  infaiidae  necis. 

quam  saepe  tristis  umbra  germani  meis 

offertur  oculis,  membra  cum  solvit  quies 

et  fessa  fletu  lumina  oppressit  sopor. 

modo  facibus  atris  armat  infirrnas  manus 

oculosque  et  ora  fratris  infestus  petit, 

modo  trcpidus  idem  refugit  in  thalamos  meos ;       120 

persequitur  hostis  atque  inhaerenti  mihi 

violentus  ensem  per  latus  nostrum  rapit. 

tune  tremor  et  ingens  cxcutit  somnos  pavor 

renovatque  luctus  et  metus  miserae  mihi. 

adice  his  superbam  paelicem,  nostrae  domus 

spoliis  nitentem,  cuius  in  munus  suam 

Stygiae  parentem  natus  imposuit  rati, 

quam  dira  post  naufragia  superato  mari 

ferro  interemit  saevior  pelagi  fretis. 

quae  spes  salutis  post  nefas  tantum  mihi  ?  ISO 

inimica  victrix  imminet  thalamis  meis 

odioque  nostri  flagrat  et  pretium  stupri 

iustae  maritum  coniugis  poscit  caput. 

emergere  umbris  et  fer  auxilium  tuae 

natae  invocanti,  genitor,  aut  Stygios  sinus 

tellure  rupta  pande,  quo  praeceps  ferar. 

1  i.e.  Acte.     See  line  197,  note. 

2  Nero,  in  divorcing  Octavia,  alleged  adultery  as  the  cause. 

418 


OCTAVIA 

hated,  and  set  beneath  my  slave,1  the  sweet  light 
brings  no  joy  to  me  ;  for  my  heart  is  ever  trembling, 
not  with  the  fear  of  death,  but  of  crime  2 — be  crime 
but  lacking  to  my  misfortunes,  death  will  be  delight. 
For  'tis  a  punishment  far  worse  than  death  to  look 
in  the  tyrant's  face,  all  swollen  with  rage  'gainst 
wretched  me,  to  kiss  my  foe,  to  fear  his  very  nod, 
obedience  to  whom  my  smarting  grief  could  not 
endure  after  my  brother's  death,  most  sinfully  de- 
stroyed, whose  throne  he  usurps,  and  rejoices  in  being 
the  worker  of  a  death  unspeakable.  How  oft  does 
my  brother's  sad  shade  appear  before  my  eyes  when 
rest  has  relaxed  my  body,  and  sleep  wreighed  down 
my  eyes,  weary  with  weeping.  Now  with  smoking 
torches  he  arms  his  feeble  hands,  and  with  deadly 
purpose  aims  at  his  brother's  eyes  and  face  ;  and  now 
in  trembling  fright  takes  refuge  in  my  chamber ;  his 
enemy  pursues  and,  e'en  while  the  lad  clings  in  my 
embrace,  savagely  he  thrusts  his  sword  through  both 
our  bodies.  Then  trembling  and  mighty  terror 
banish  my  slumbers,  and  bring  back  to  my  wretched 
heart  its  grief  and  fear.  Add  to  all  this  the  proud 
concubine,  bedecked  with  our  house's  spoil,  as  gift 
for  whom  the  son  set  his  own  mother  on  the  Stygian 
bark ;  and,  when  she  had  o'ercome  dread  shipwreck 
and  the  sea,  himself  more  pitiless  than  ocean's 
waves,  slew  her  with  the  sword.  What  hope  of 
safety,  after  crime  so  great,  have  I  ?  My  victorious 
foe  threatens  my  chamber,  blazes  with  hate  of  me, 
and,  as  the  reward  of  her  adultery,  demands  of  my 
husband  his  lawful  consort's  head.  Arise  thou,  my 
father,  from  the  shades  and  bring  help  to  thy 
daughter  who  calls  on  thee  ;  or  else,  rending  the 
earth,  lay  bare  the  Stygian  abyss,  that  I  may  plunge 
thither  headlong. 

419 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

NVTRIX 

Frustra  parentis  in vocas^ manes  tui, 
miseranda,  frustra,  nulla  cui  prolis  suae 
manet  inter  umbras  cura  ;  qui  nato  suo 
praeferre  potuit  sanguine  alieno  satum  140 

genitamque  fratris  coniugem  pactus  sibi 
toris  nefandis  flebili  iunxit  face, 
hinc  orta  series  facinorum  — caedes,  doli, 
regni  cupido,  sanguinis  clari  sitis ; 
mactata  soceri  concidit  thalamis  gener 
victima,  tuis  ne  fieret  hymenaeis  potens. 
pro  facinus  ingens  !  feminae  est  munus  datus 
Silanus  et  cruore  foedavit  suo 
patrios  penates,  criminis  ficti  reus. 
intravit  hostis,  ei  mihi,  captam  domum,  150 

dolis  novercae  principis  factus  gener 
idemque  natus,  iuvenis  infandi  ingeni, 
scelerum  capacis,  dira  cui  genetrix  facem 
accendit  et  te  iunxit  invitam  metu. 
tantoque  victrix  facta  successu  ferox 
ausa  imminere  est  orbis  imperio  sacri. 
quis  tot  referre  facinorum  formas  potest 
et  spes  nefandas  feminae  et  blandos  dolos 
regnum  petentis  per  gradus  scelerum  omnium  ? 
tune  sancta  Pietas  extulit  trepidos  gradus  l6o 

vacuamque  Erinys  saeva  funesto  pede 
intravit  aulam,  polluit  Stygia  face 
sacros  penates,  iura  naturae  furens 
fasque  omne  rupit.     miscuit  coniunx  viro 
venena  saeva,  cecidit  atque  eadem  sui 
mox  scelere  nati  ;  tu  quoque  extinctus  iaces, 
deflende  nobis  semper  infelix  puer, 
modo  sidus  orbis,  columen  augustae  domus, 
Britannice,  heu  me,  nunc  levis  tantum  cinis 
420 


OCTAVIA 

NURSE 

In  vain  dost  thou  call  upon  thy  father's  ghost, 
poor  girl,  in  vain,  for  no  care  for  his  child  abides 
amidst  the  shades  with  him  who  to  his  own  son 
could  prefer  one  born  of  other  blood,  and,  taking  his 
brother's  child  to  wife,  wed  her  with  couch  incestuous 
and  gloomy  torch.  Thence  sprung  a  train  of  crimes 
— murders,  deceits,  the  lust  for  empire,  thirst  for 
illustrious  blood  ;  as  victha  offered  to  the  father's 
marriage  bed  the  son-in-law  was  slain,  lest,  wedded 
to  thee  he  might  become  too  strong.  Oh,  monstrous 
crime  !  To  a  woman  was  Silanus  given  as  a  boon 
and  with  his  blood  denied  the  ancestral  gods,  charged 
with  a  crime  that  was  not  his.  Then  entered  the 
foe,  ah  me  !  into  the  conquered  palace,  by  a  step- 
mother's wiles  made  an  emperor's  son-in-law  and 
son  withal,  a  youth  of  bent  unnatural,  fertile  in  crime, 
whose  passion  thy  cruel  mother  fanned,  and  forced 
thee  by  fear  to  wed  him,  'gainst  thy  will.  Triumphant 
and  emboldened  by  such  success,  she  dared  aspire  to 
the  awful  empire  of  the  world.  Who  can  rehearse 
the  various  forms  of  crime,  the  wicked  hopes,  the 
cozening  wiles  of  her  who  by  all  crimes  would  mount 
to  empire  round  by  round  ?  Then  holy  Piety  with 
trembling  step  withdrew,  and  raging  Fury  with  bale- 
ful feet  entered  the  empty  palace,  denied  with 
Stygian  torch  the  holy  household-gods,  and  in  mad 
rage  rent  nature's  laws  and  all  things  sacred.  The 
wife  for  her  husband  mingled  deadly  poison,  and 
soon  by  her  son's  crime  the  same  wife  fell.  Thou 
too  dost  lie  dead,  unhappy  youth,  ever  to  be  mourned 
by  us,  but  late  the  world's  star,  the  prop  of  a  noble 
house,  Britannicus,  and  now,  ah  me !  only  light  ashes 

42  J 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

et  tristis  umbra;  saeva  cui  lacrimas  dedit  170 

etiam  noverca,  cum  rogis  artus  tuos 
dedit1  cremandos  membraque  et  vultus  deo 
similes  volanti  funebris  flamma  abstulit.2 

OCTAVIA 
Extinguat  et  me,  ne  manu  nostra  cadat ! 

NVTRIX 
Natura  vires  non  dedit  tantas  tibi. 

OCTAVIA 
Dolor  ira  maeror  miseriae  luctus  dabunt. 

NVTRIX 
Vmce  obsequendo  potius  immitem  virum. 

OCTAVIA 
Vt  fratrem  ademptum  seel  ere  restituat  mihi  ? 

NVTRIX 

Incolumis  ut  sis  ipsa,  labentem  ut  domum 
genitoris  olim  subole  restituas  tua.  180 

OCTAVIA 

Expectat  aliam  principis  subolem  domus  ; 
me  dira  miseri  fata  germani  trahunt. 

NVTRIX 
Confirmet  animum  civium  tantus  favor. 

1  So  the  MSS.:  Leo,  with  Biiecheler,  dedi. 
8  Some  editors  suggest  a  lacuna  of  thirty  or  more  lines  fol- 
lowing 173. 

422 


OCTAVIA 

and  a  mournful  shade,  o'er  whom  e'en  thy  step- 
mother wept,  when  on  the  pyre  she  gave  thy  body 
to  be  burned,  and  when  thy  limbs  and  features,  that 
were  like  a  winged  god's,  were  by  the  mournful 
flame  consumed. 

OCTAVIA 

Let  him1  destroy  me  also,  lest  by  my  hand  he  fall. 

NURSE 

Nature  has  not  bestowed  on  thee  such  strength. 

OCTAVIA 

Anguish,  anger,  sorrow,  wretchedness,  grief  will 
bestow  it. 

NURSE 

By  compliance,  rather,  win  thine  unfeeling  lord. 

OCTAVIA 

That  he  may  give  back  to  me  my  brother,  wickedly 
destroyed  ? 

NURSE 

That  thou  mayst  be  thyself  unharmed,  that  one 
day  thou  mayst  restore  thy  father's  tottering  house 
with  sons  of  thine. 

OCTAVIA 

The  royal  house  expects  another  son  ; 2  me  my 
poor  brother's  cruel  fates  drag  down. 

NURSE 

Let  thy  soul  be  strengthened  by  the  citizens'  great 
love. 

1  Nero. 

3  i.e.  Nero's  by  Poppaea. 

423 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

OCTAVIA 

Solatur  iste  nostra,  non  relevat  mala. 

NVTRIX 
Vis  magna  populi  est. 

OCTAVIA 

Principis  maior  tamen. 

NVTRIX 
Respiciet  ipse  coniugem. 

OCTAVIA 

Paelex  vetat. 

NVTRIX 
Invisa  cunctis  nempe. 

OCTAVIA 
Sed  cara  est  viro. 

NVTRIX 
Nondum  uxor  est. 

OCTAVIA 
lam  fiet,  et  genetrix  simul. 

NVTRIX 

luvenilis  ardor  impetu  primo  furit, 
languescit  idem  facile  nee  durat  diu 
in  Venere  turpi,  ceu  levis  Mammae  vapor ; 
amor  perennis  coniugis  castae  manet. 
violare  prima  quae  toros  ausa  est  tuos 
animumque  domini  famula  possedit  diu, 
iam  metuit  eadem— 

424 


OCTAVIA 

OCTAVIA 

That  comforts  my  woes  but  does  not  lighten  them. 

NURSE 
The  people's  power  is  mighty. 

OCTAVIA 

But  the  emperor's  mightier. 

NURSE 

Of  himself  will  he  respect  his  wife. 

OCTAVIA 

His  concubine  forbids. 

NURSE 
Surely  she  is  scorned  by  all. 

OCTAVIA 

But  to  her  husband,  dear. 

NURSE 
She  is  not  yet  a  wife. 

OCTAVIA 
But  soon  will  be,  and  a  mother,  too. 

NURSE 

Youthful  passion  burns  fierce  at  the  first  rush  but 
readily  grows  dull,  nor  long  endures  in  foul  adultery, 
like  heat  of  flickering  flame  ;  but  a  chaste  wife's  love 
remains  perpetual.  She  who  first  dared  profane  thy 
bed,  and,  though  a  slave,  has  long  held  in  thrall  her 
master's  heart,  already  herself  fears — 

425 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

OCTAVIA 

Nempe  praelatam  sibi. 

NVTRIX 

subiecta  et  humilis,  atque  moniraenta  extruit 

quibus  timorem  fassa  testatur  suum. 

et  hanc  levis  fallaxque  destituet  deus 

volucer  Cupido  ;  sit  licet  forma  eminens, 

opibus  superba,  gaudium  capiet  breve.  200 

Passa  est  similes  ipsa  dolores 
regina  deum, 

cum  se  formas  vertit  in  omnes 
dominus  caeli  divumque  pater, 
et  modo  pennas  sumpsit  oloris 
modo  Sidonii  cornua  tauri, 
aureus  idem  fluxit  in  imbri ; 
fulgent  caelo  sidera  Ledae, 
patrio  residet  Bacchus  Olympo, 
deus  Alcides  possidet  Heben  210 

nee  lunonis  iam  timet  iras, 
cuius  gener  est  qui  fuit  hostis. 
vicit  sapiens  tamen  obsequium 
coniugis  altae  pressusque  dolor ; 
sola  Tonantem  tenet  aetherio 
secura  toro  maxima  luno, 
nee  mortal i  captus  forma 
deserit  altam  luppiter  aulam. 
tu  quoque,  terris  altera  luno, 
soror  Augusti  coniunxque,  graves  220 

vince  dolores. 

1  It  is  the  opinion  of  Gruterus  that  the  common  inter- 
pretation of  this  whole  passage  is  wrong  in  its  assumption 
that  the  poet  has  Poppaea  in  mind  ;  he  would  have  it  that 
the  freed-woman,  Acte,  is  the  concubine  referred  to  here. 


OCTAV1A 

OCTAVIA 

Aye  !  a  more  favoured  mistress. 

NURSE 

— subdued  and  humble,  and  gives  signs  by  which 
she  confesses  her  own  great  fear.1  Even  her  shall 
winged  Cupid,  false  and  fickle  god,  betray  ;  though 
she  be  passing  fair,  boastful  in  power,  hers  shall  be 
but  a  transitory  joy. 

201  The  queen  of  the  gods  herself  like  sorrows  suf- 
fered, when  the  lord  of  heaven  and  father  of  the  gods 
into  all  forms  changed,  and  now  wings  of  a  swan  2  put 
on,  now  the  horns  of  a  bull  3  of  Sidon,  and  again  in  a 
golden  shower4  poured  down  ;  the  stars  of  Leda 
glitter  in  the  sky,  Bacchus  5  on  his  father's  Olympus 
dwells,  Alcides 5  as  a  god  possesses  Hebe  and  now 
no  more  fears  Juno's  wrath  ;  he  is  her  son-in-law 
who  was  her  enemy.  Yet  wise  compliance  and 
controlled  wrath  won  victory  for  the  queenly  wife  ; 
without  rival,  without  care  does  Juno  hold  the 
Thunderer  on  her  heavenly  couch,  and  no  more 
does  Jupiter,  by  mortal  beauty  smitten,  desert  the 
court  of  heaven.  Thou  too,  on  earth  a  second  Juno, 
Augustus'6  wife  and  sister,  thy  grievous  woes 
o'ercome. 

3  In  which  form  he  came  to  Leda. 

3  Thus  he  appeared  to  Europa. 

4  Thus  he  appeared  to  Danae. 

8  Son  of  Jove  and  a  mortal  woman.     See  Index. 
8  A  surname  not  only  of  the  first,  but  of  all  the  Roman 
emperors.     Here,  Nero. 

427 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 


OCTAV1A 


Iimgentur  ante  saeva  sideribus  freta 
et  ignis  undae,  Tartaro  tristi  polus, 
lux  alma  tenebris,  roscidae  nocti  dies, 
quam  cum  scelesti  coniugis  mente  impia 
mens  nostra,  semper  fratris  extincti  memor. 
utinam  nefandi  principis  dirum  caput 
obruere  flammis  caelitum  rector  paret, 
qui  saepe  terras  fulmine  infesto  quatit 
mentesque  nostras  ignibus  terret  sacris  230 

novisque  monstris  ;  vidimus  caelo  iubar 
ardens  cometam  pandere  infestam  facem, 
qua  plaustra  tardus  noctis  aeterna  vice 
regit  Bootes,  frigore  Arctoo  rigens. 
en  ipse  diro  spiritu  saevi  ducis 
polluitur  aether,  gentibus  clades  novas 
minantur  astra,  quas  regit  dux  impius. 
non  tarn  ferum  Typhona  neglecto  love 
irata  Tellus  edidit  quondam  parens  ; 
hie  gravior  illo  pestis,  hie  hostis  deum  24-0 

hominumque  templis  expulit  superos  suis 
civesque  patria,  spiritum  fratri  abstulit, 
hausit  cruorem  matris — et  lucem  videt 
fruiturque  vita  noxiam  atque  animam  trahit  ' 
pro  summe  genitor,  tela  cur  frustra  iacis 
invicta  totiens  temere  regali  manu  ? 
in  tarn  nocentem  dextra  cur  cessat  tua  ? 
utinam  suorum  facinorum  poenas  luat 
Nero  insitivus,  Domitio  genitus  patre, 
orbis  tyrannus,  quern  premit  turpi  iugo  250 

morumque  vitiis  nomen  Augustum  inquinat ! 

1  A  comet  actually  did  appear  at  this  time  (Tacitus,  An- 
nales,  xiv.  22).  The  appearance  of  a  comet  was  portentous, 
and  was  supposed  to  prelude  the  death  of  a  king. 

428 


OCTAV1A 

OCTAVIA 

Sooner  shall  savage  seas  unite  with  stars,  water  with 
fire,  heaven  with  sad  Tartarus,  the  kindly  light  with 
darkness,  day  with  the  dewy  night,  than  with  my 
accursed  husband's  impious  soul  this  soul  of  mine, 
that  ever  broods  upon  my  brother's  death.  And  oh, 
that  the  lord  of  the  heaven-dwellers,  who  often 
shakes  the  lands  with  deadly  bolt  and  terrifies  our 
souls  with  awful  fires  and  portents  strange,  would 
make  ready  to  whelm  with  flames  this  impious  prince. 
We  have  seen  a  glowing  radiance  in  the  sky,  a 
comet l  spreading  its  baleful  trail,  where  slow  Bootes, 
numb  with  Arctic  chill,  with  endless,  nightlong 
wheeling,  guides  his  wain.  Lo,  by  the  pestilential 
breath  of  this  destructive  leader  the  very  air  is 
tainted  ;  the  stars  threaten  unheard  disasters  for  the 
nations  which  this  godless  leader  rules.  Not  such  a 
pest  was  Typhon,  whom  wrathful  mother  Earth  pro- 
duced in  scorn  of  Jove ;  this  scourge,  worse  than  he, 
this  enemy  of  gods  and  men,  has  driven  the  heavenly 
ones  from  their  shrines,  and  citizens  from  their 
country,  from  his  brother  has  he  reft  the  breath  of  life, 
and  drained  his  mother's  blood — and  he  still  sees  the 
light  of  day,  still  lives  and  draws  his  baneful  breath  ! 
O  high  exalted  father,  why  vainly,  why  so  oft  at 
random  dost  thou  hurl  thy  darts  invincible  with  thine 
imperial  hand  ?  'Gainst  one  so  criminal  why  is  thy 
right  hand  stayed  ?  Would  that  he  might  pay 
penalty  for  his  crimes,  this  spurious  2  Nero,  son  of 
Domitius,  tyrant  of  a  world  he  burdens  with  his 
shameful  yoke,  and  with  foul  ways  pollutes  the  name 
Augustus ! 

2  Referring  to  the  fact  that  Nero  was  not  the  true  son  and 
rightful  heir  of  Claudius. 

429 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

NVTRIX 

Indignus  ille,  fateor,  est  thalamis  tuis  ; 
sed  cede  fatis  atque  fortunae  tuae, 
alumna,  quaeso  neve  violent!  move 
iram  rnariti.     forsitan  vindex  deus 
existet  aliquis,  laetus  et  veniet  dies. 

OCTAVIA 

Gravi  deorum  nostra  iam  pridem  domus 
tirgetur  ira,  prima  quam  pressit  Venus 
furore  miserae  dura  genetricis  meae, 
quae  nupta  demens  nupsit  incesta  face,  260 

oblita  nostri,  coniugis,  legum  immemor. 
illi  soluta  crine,  succincta  anguibus 

ultrix  Erinvs  venit  ad  Stvgios  toros 

j  •"  ,, 

raptasque  thalamis  sanguine  extinxit  faces  ; 
incendit  ira  principis  pectus  truci 
caedem  in  nefandam  ;  cecidit  infelix  parens, 
heu,  nostra  ferro  meque  perpetuo  obruit 
extincta  luctu  ;  coniugem  traxit  suum 
natumque  ad  umbras,  prodidit  lapsam  domum. 

NVTRIX 

Renovare  luctus  parce  cum  fletu  pios,  270 

manes  parentis  neve  sollicita  tuae, 
graves  furoris  quae  sui  poenas  dedit. 

CHORVS 

Quae  fama  modo  venit  ad  aures  ? 
utinam  falso  credita  perdat 
frustra  totiens  iactata  fidem, 

1  i.e.  C.  Siliua. 
430 


OCTAVIA 


NURSE 


Unworthy  he,  I  do  confess  it,  to  mate  with  thee  ; 
but  yield  thee  to  the  fates  and  to  thy  lot,  ray  child, 
I  beg,  nor  rouse  thy  violent  husband's  wrath.  Per- 
chance some  god  will  arise  as  thine  avenger,  and  a 
day  of  happiness  will  come  again. 

OCTAVIA 

Long  since  has  the  heavy  wrath  of  the  gods 
pursued  our  house,  which  harsh  Venus  first  o'er- 
whelmed  in  my  poor  mother's  madness ;  for  she, 
already  wed,  in  mad  folly  wed  another l  with  un- 
holy torch,  of  me,  of  her  husband  forgetful,  and  re- 
gardless of  the  laws.  Against  her  to  that  hellish 
couch,  with  streaming  hair  and  girt  about  with  snakes, 
came  the  avenging  Fury  and  quenched  those  stolen 
wedding  fires  in  blood  ;  with  rage  she  inflamed  the 
cruel  emperor's  heart  to  impious  murder ;  my  ill- 
starred  mother  fell,  alas,  and,  by  the  sword  destroyed, 
o'erwhelmed  me  in  endless  suffering ;  her  husband 
and  her  son  did  she  drag  down  to  death  2  and  shame- 
fully betrayed  our  fallen  house. 

NURSE 

Forbear  with  weeping  to  renew  thy  filial  griefs,  and 
vex  not  thy  mother's  spirit,  who  for  her  madness  has 
grievously  atoned.  [Exeunt. 

CHORUS 

What  rumour  has  but  now  come  to  our  ears  ? 
May  it  prove  false  and  gain  no  credence  though 
vainly  told  o'er  and  o'er  ;  and  may  no  new  wife  the 

2  Because,  after  Messalina's  death,  Claudius  married 
Agrippina  who  was  responsible  for  the  death  of  Claudius 
and  Britannicus. 

431 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

nee  nova  coniunx  nostri  thalamos 

principis  intret  teneatque  suos 

nupta  penates  Claudia  proles  ; 

edat  partu  pignora  pacis 

qua  tranquillus  gaudeat  orbis  280 

servetque  decus  Roma  aeternum. 

fratris  thalamos  sortita  tenet 

maxima  luno  ;  soror  August! 

sociata  toris  cur  a  patria 

pellitur  aula?     san eta  quid  illi 

prodest  pietas  divusque  pater, 

quid  virginitas  castusque  pudor  ? 

nos  quoque  nostri  sumus  immemores 

post  fata  ducis,  cuius  stirpem 

prodimus  aegro  l  suadente  metu.  290 

vera  priorum  virtus  quondam 

Romana  fuit  verumque  genus 

Martis  in  illis  sanguisque  viris. 

illi  reges  hac  expulerunt 

urbe  superbos  ultique  tuos 

sunt  bene  manes, 

virgo,  dextra 

caesa  parentis,  ne  servitium 

paterere  grave  et  improba  ferret 

praemia  victrix  dira  libido.  300 

te  quoque  bellum  triste  secutum  est,2 

mactata  tua  miseranda  manu, 

nata  Lucreti,  stuprum  saevi 

passa  tyranni. 

dedit  infandi  sceleris  poenas 

cum  Tarquinio  Tullia  coniunx, 

quae  per  caesi  membra  parentis 

egit  saevos  impia  currus 

laceroque  seni  violenta  rogos 

nata  negavit. 

432 


OCTAVIA 

emperor's  chamber  enter,  and  may  his  bride,  the 
child  of  Claudius,  keep  her  rightful  home,  and  bring 
forth  sons,  pledges  of  peace,  wherein  the  untroubled 
world  may  rejoice  and  Rome  preserve  her  everlast- 
ing glory.  Her  brother's  bridal  chamber  mightiest 
Juno  won  and  holds  ;  why  is  Augustus's  sister,  made 
partner  of  his  couch,  driven  from  her  father's  house  ? 
Of  what  avail  to  her  is  pure  devotion,  a  father  deified, 
virginity,  unblemished  chastity  ?  We  too,  after  his 
death  have  quite  forgot  our  leader,  and  betray  his 
child  at  the  bidding  of  sick  fear.  Right  Roman  virtue 
of  old  our  fathers  had  ;  in  such  men  was  the  true 
race  and  blood  of  Mars.  They  from  this  city  arrogant 
kings  expelled,  and  well  did  they  avenge  thy  ghost, 
O  virgin,1  slain  by  thy  father's  hand  lest  thou  shouldst 
suffer  slavery's  heavy  load,  and  lest  cruel  lust, 
victorious,  should  gain  its  shameless  prize.  Thee 
also  a  sad  war  followed,  daughter  of  Lucretius,  slain, 
poor  girl,  by  thine  own  hand,  by  a  brutal  tyrant 
outraged.  With  Tarquin  Tullia,  his  wife,  paid  penalty 
for  crime  unspeakable,  who,  over  the  body  of  her 
murdered  father  heartlessly  drove  her  cruel  car,  and, 
mad  daughter,  refused  the  mangled  old  man  a 

funeral-pyre. 

1  Virginia.     See  Index. 
8  Lucretia.     See  Index. 

1  So  Richter :  Leo  taevo  :  A  sevo  :  ^  evo  :  Peiper  eheu. 
s  Leo  deletes  lines  297-301. 

433 


2 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

Haec  quoque  nati  videre  nefas  310 

saecula  magnum,  cum  Tyrrhenum 
rate  ferali  princeps  captam 
fraude  parentem  misit  in  aequor. 
properant  placidos  linquere  portus 
iussi  nautae,  resonant  remis 
pulsata  freta. 

fertur  in  altum  provecta  ratis, 
quae  resoluto  robore  labens 
pressa  dehiscit  sorbetque  mare, 
tollitur  ingens  clamor  ad  astra  320 

cum  femineo  mixtus  planctu. 
mors  ante  oculos  dira  vagatur  ; 
quaerit  leti  sibi  quisque  fugam ; 
alii  lacerae  puppis  tabulis 
haerent  nudi  fluctusque  secant, 
repetunt  alii  litora  nantes  ; 
multos  mergunt  fata  profundo. 
scindit  vestes  Augusta  suas 
laceratque  comas  rigat  et  maestis 
fletibus  ora.  330 

Postquam  spes  est  nulla  salutis, 
ardens  ira,  iam  victa  malis  : 
(f  haec  "  exclamat  "  mihi  pro  tanto 
munere  reddis  praemia,  nate  ? 
hac  sum,  fateor,  digna  carina, 
quae  te  genui,  quae  tibi  lucem 
atque  imperium  nomenque  dedi 
Caesaris  amens.     exere  vultus 
Acheronte  tuos  poenisque  meis 
pascere,  coniunx ;  34C 

ego  causa  tuae,  miserande,  necis 
natoque  tuo  funeris  auctor 
en,  ut  merui,  ferar  ad  manes 
inhumata  tuos,  obruta  saevis 
aequoris  undis." 
4-34- 


OCTAVIA 

310  This  age  as  well  has  seen  a  son's  dire 
when  in  a  deadly  bark  the  prince l  sent  his  mother 
out  on  the  Tyrrhene  sea,  by  a  trick  ensnared.  At  his 
bidding  the  sailors  make  haste  to  leave  the  peaceful 
port  and,  smit  by  the  oars,  the  sea  resounds.  The 
vessel  is  borne  far  out  upon  the  deep  ;  and  there, 
with  loosened  timbers,  sinking,  overwhelmed,  it  yawns 
wide  and  drinks  in  the  sea.  A  mighty  outcry  rises 
to  the  stars,  mingled  with  shrieks  of  women.  Death 
stalks  dire  before  the  eyes  of  all ;  each  for  himself 
seeks  refuge  from  destruction  ;  some  cling  naked  to 
planks  of  the  broken  ship  and  face  the  floods,  while 
others,  swimming,  seek  to  gain  the  shore ;  fate 
plunges  many  into  the  depths  below.  Augusta2 
rends  her  garments  and  tears  her  hair  and  waters 
her  cheeks  with  grieving  tears. 

831  At  last,  with  hope  of  safety  gone,  blazing  with 
anger  and  now  o'ercome  with  woe,  she  cries ;  "  Such 
reward  as  this  for  my  great  boon,  O  son,  dost  thou 
return  me  ?  Worthy  am  I  of  this  ship,  I  do  confess, 
who  brought  thee  forth,  who  gave  thee  light  and 
empire  and  the  name  of  Caesar,  fool  that  I  was. 
Thrust  forth  thy  face  from  Acheron,  and  glut  thee 
with  my  punishment,  O  husband ;  I  caused  thy 
death,  poor  soul,  was  the  author  of  thy  son's  de- 
struction, and  lo,  as  I  have  merited,  to  thy  ghost 
am  I  now  borne  unburied,  whelmed  in  the  cruel 
waters  of  the  sea." 

1  Nero.  *  i.e.  Agrippina. 

435 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Feriunt  fluctus  ora  loquentis, 
ruit  in  pelagus  rursumque  salo 
pressa  resurgit,  pellit  palmis 
cogente  metu  freta,  set  cedit 
fessa  labori.     raansit  tacitis  350 

in  pectoribus  spreta  tristi 
iam  morte  fides,     multi  dominae 
ferre  auxilium  pelago  fractis 
viribus  audent,  bracchia  quamvis 
lenta  trahentem  voce  hortantur 
manibusque  levant,     quid  tibi  saevi 
fugisse  maris  profuit  undas  ? 
ferro  es  nati  moritura  tui, 
cuius  facinus  vix  posteritas, 
tarde  semper  saecula  credent.  36<J 

furit  ereptam  pelagoque  dolet 
vivere  matrem 

impius,  ingens  geminatque  nefas ; 
ruit  in  miserae  fata  parentis 
patiturque  moram  sceleris  nullam. 
missus  peragit  iussa  satelles  ; 
reserat  dominae  pectora  ferro. 
caedis  moriens  ilia  ministrum 
rogat  infelix,  utero  dirum 
condat  ut  ensem  :  $10 

"hie  est,  hie  est  fodiendus  "  ait 
"ferro,  monstrum  qui  tale  tulit." 
post  hanc  vocem 
mixtam  gemitu  cum  supremo 
animam  tandem  per  fera  tristem 
vulnera  reddit. 

SENECA 

Quid  me,  potens  Fortuna,  fallaci  mihi 
blandita  vultu,  sorte  contentum  mea 

436 


OCTAVIA 

846  E'en  while  she  speaks  the  waves  wash  o'er  her 

lips,  and  down  into  the  deep  she  plunges ;  anon  she 

rises  from  the  briny  weight  and  with  her  hands,  fear 

driving   her,  lashes  the    sea ;  but  soon,  outwearied, 

gives  o'er  the  struggle.     There  still   lived  in  secret 

hearts1    fidelity    which    scorned    the    grim    fear    of 

death.      Many   to    their    mistress   dare     bring    aid, 

when  her  strength  is  exhausted  by  the  sea,  and,  as 

she  drags  her  arms,  though   sluggishly,  along,  with 

their  voices  cheer  her  and  lift  her  with  their  hands. 

But  what  availed  it  to  have  escaped  the  waters  of 

the  cruel  sea  ?     By  the  sword  of  thine  own  son  thou 

art   to   die,  to   whose    crime   scarce   will   posterity, 

slowly  will  all  future  ages,  give   belief.     He  rages 

and  grieves  that  his  mother,  snatched  from  the  sea, 

still   lives,    the   impious   monster,   and   heaps   huge 

guilt   on    guilt ;    bent    on    his    wretched    mother's 

death,  he    brooks  no    stay  of   crime.     Sent  to  the 

task,  his  creature  works  his  will,  and  with  the  sword 

lays  open  his  mistress'  breast.     The  unhappy  woman, 

dying,  begs  her  murderer  to  sheathe  his  fell  sword 

within   her   womb  :    "  Tis  this,   'tis  this  that  must 

with  the  sword  be  pierced,  which  gave  such  monster 

birth  ! "     After  such  utterance,  with  a  dying  groan 

commingled,  at  length  through  the  cruel  wound  she 

yielded  her  sad  ghost. 

SENECA  [a/one] 

Why,  potent  Fortune,  with  false,  nattering  looks; 
hast  high  exalted  me  when  contented  with  my  lot, 

1  »'.  e.  of  some  of  her  servants. 

437 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

alte  extulisti,  gravius  ut  ruerem  edita 

receptus  arce  totque  prospicerem  metus  ?  380 

melius  latebam  procul  ab  invidiae  mails 

remotus  inter  Corsici  rupes  maris, 

ubi  liber  animus  et  sui  iuris  mihi 

semper  vacabat  studia  recolenti  mea. 

o  quam  iuvabat,  quo  nihil  maius  parens 

Natura  genuit,  operis  immensi  artifex, 

caelum  intueri,  solis  et  currus  sacros 

mundique  motus,1  solis  alternas  vices 

orbemque  Phoebes,  astra  quern  cingunt  vaga, 

lateque  fulgens  aetheris  magni  decus  ;  390 

qui  si  senescit,  tantus  in  caecum  chaos 

casurus  iterum,  tune  adest  mundo  dies  2 

supremus  ille,  qui  premat3  genus  impium 

caeli  ruina,  rursus  ut  stirpem  novam 

generet  renascens  melior,  ut  quondam  tulit 

iuvenis,  tenente  regna  Saturno  poli. 

tune  ilia  virgo,  numinis  magni  dea, 

lustitia,  caelo  missa  cum  sancta  Fide 

terris  regebat  mitis  humanum  genus. 

non  bella  norant,  non  tubae  fremitus  truces,  400 

non  anna  gentes,  cingere  assuerant  suas 

muris  nee  urbes  :  pervium  cunctis  iter, 

communis  usus  omnium  rerum  fuit ; 

et  ipsa  Tell  us  laeta  fecundos  sinus 

pandebat  ultro,  tarn  piis  felix  parens 

et  tuta  alumnis. 

Alia  sed  suboles,  minus 
experta  mitis,  tertium  sellers  genus 
novas  ad  artes  extitit,  sanctum  tarn  en  ; 
mox  inquietum,  quod  sequi  cursu  feras 

1  Leo  deletes  solis  .  .  .  motus. 

1  So  Pickter  with  MSS. :  Lto  casurus  iterum  est — nunc  ades 
nmndo,  dies.  3  So  Richttr  with  MSS.:  Leo  premas. 

438 


OCTAV1A 

that,  raised  to  a  lofty  pinnacle,  in  heavier  ruin  I 
might  fall,  and  might  look  out  upon  so  many  fears  ? 
Better  was  I  hid,  far  out  of  the  reach  of  envy's  sting, 
midst  the  crags  of  Corsica,  facing  on  the  sea,  where 
my  spirit,  free  and  its  own  lord,  had  ever  time  to 
contemplate  my  favourite  themes.  Oh,  'twas  joy — 
a  joy  surpassing  anything  to  which  mother  Nature, 
contriver  of  this  fabric  infinite,  hath  given  birth,  to 
gaze  upon  the  heavens,  the  sun's  sacred  chariot,  the 
motions  of  the  universe  and  the  sun's  recurring 
rounds,  and  the  orb  of  Phoebe,  which  the  wandering 
stars  encircle,  and  the  far  effulgent  glory  of  the  mighty 
sky.  If  this  sky  is  growing  old,  doomed  wholly 
once  more  to  fall  into  blind  nothingness,  then  for  the 
universe  is  that  last  day  at  hand  which  shall  crush 
sinful  man  beneath  heaven's  ruin,  that  so  once  more 
a  reborn  and  better  world  may  bring  forth  a  new 
race  such  as  she  bore  in  youth,  when  Saturn1  held  the 
kingdoms  of  the  sky.  Then  did  that  virgin,  Justice,2 
goddess  of  mighty  sway,  from  heaven  sent  down  with 
holy  Faith  to  earth,  rule  with  mild  sway  the  race  of 
men.  No  wars  the  nations  knew,  no  trumpet's 
threatening  blasts,  no  arms,  nor  were  they  used  to 
surround  their  cities  with  a  wall :  open  to  all  was 
the  way,  in  common  was  the  use  of  every  thing  ;  and 
the  glad  Earth  herself  willingly  laid  bare  her  fruitful 
breast,  a  mother  happy  and  safe  amid  such  duteous 
nurslings. 

406  But  another  race  arose  which  proved  less 
gentle ;  another  yet,  cunning  in  unknown  arts,  but 
holy  still ;  then  came  a  restless  race,  which  dared 

1  In  the  Golden  Age.  •  i.e.  Astraea. 

439 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

auderet  acres,  fluctibus  tectos  gravi  410 

extrahere  pisces  rete  vel  calamo  levi, 

decipere  volucres1 

tenere  laqueo,  premere  subiectos  iugo 

tauros  feroces,  vomere  immunem  prius 

sulcare  terrain,  laesa  quae  fruges  suas 

interius  alte  condidit  sacro  sinu. 

sed  in  parentis  viscera  intravit  suae 

deterior  aetas  ;  emit  ferrum  grave 

aurumque,  saevas  mox  et  armavit  manus; 

partita  fines  regna  constituit,  novas  420 

extruxit  urbes,  tecta  defendit  sua, 

aliena  telis  aut  petit  praedae  imminens. 

neglecta  terras  fugit  et  mores  feros 

hominum  et  cruenta  caede  pollutas  manus 

Astraea  virgo,  siderum  magnum  decus. 

cupido  belli  crevit  atque  auri  fames 

totum  per  orbem,  maximum  exortum  est  malum 

luxuria,  pestis  blanda,  cui  vires  dedit 

roburque  longum  tempus  atque  error  gravis. 

collecta  vitia  per  tot  aetates  diu  430 

in  nos  redundant ;  saeculo  premimur  gravi, 

quo  scelera  regnant,  saevit  impietas  furens, 

turpi  libido  Venere  dominatur  potens, 

luxuria  victrix  orbis  immensas  opes 

iam  pridem  avaris  manibus,  ut  perdat,  rapit. 

Sed  ecce,  gressu  fertur  attonito  Nero 
trucique  vultu.     quid  ferat  mente  horreo. 


NERO 

Perage  imperata ;  mitte,  qui  Plauti  mihi 
Sullaeque  caesi  referat  abscisum  caput. 

1  Leo  conjectures  a  lacuna,  and  suggests   <turbidos  forti 
canes  >. 

4-40 


OCTAVIA 

pursue  the  wild  beasts  in  the  chase,  draw  fish  from 
their  coverts  'neath  the  sea  with  weighted  net  or 
slender  rod,  catch  birds,  on  a  strong  leash  hold 
unruly  dogs,1  force  headstrong  bullocks  to  endure 
the  yoke,  furrow  the  earth  which  had  never  felt  the 
plough,  and  which,  now  thus  outraged,  had  hidden 
her  fruits  deeper  in  her  sacred  bosom.  But  into  its 
mother's  bowels  did  that  degenerate  age  intrude  ;  it 
dug  out  heavy  iron  and  gold,  and  soon  did  it  arm 
savage  hands  for  war.  Marking  out  boundaries,  it 
established  kingdoms,  built  cities,  hitherto  unknown, 
guarded  its  own  dwellings  or,  bent  on  booty,  with 
weapons  attacked  another's.  Away  from  earth  that 
scorned  her,  from  the  wild  ways  of  men  and  hands 
defiled  with  bloody  slaughter,  fled  the  maid,  Astraea, 
chief  glory  of  the  firmament.  Lust  for  war  increased 
and  hunger  for  gold  throughout  the  world ;  luxury 
arose,  deadliest  of  ills,  a  luring  pest,  which  acquired 
strength  and  force  by  long  use  and  grievous  error. 
These  sins,  through  many  ages  gathering,  are  o'er- 
flowing  upon  us;  a  heavy  age  weighs  us  down,  wherein 
crime  is  regnant,  impiety  runs  mad,  all-potent  lust 
lords  it  with  shameless  love,  and  triumphant  luxury 
has  long  with  greedy  hands  been  clutching  the  world's 
unbounded  stores — that  she  may  squander  them. 

[NERO  is  seen  approaching.] 

436  But  see,  with  startled  step  and  savage  mien  Nero 
approaches.   At  thought  of  what  he  brings  I  tremble. 
\Enter  NERO, followed  by  a  Prefect.'] 

NERO  [to  Prefect] 

Go  do  my  bidding  ;  send  one  to  slay  me   Plautus 
and  Sulla  and  bring  back  their  severed  heads. 

1  Translating  Leo's  conjecture. 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

PRAEFECTVS 

lussa  baud  morabor :  castra  confestim  petam. 

SENECA 
Nihil  in  propinquos  temere  constitui  decet.        440 

NERO 
lustum  esse  facile  est  cui  vacat  pectus  metu. 

SENECA 
Magnum  timoris  remedium  dementia  est. 

NERO 
Extinguere  hostem  maxima  est  virtus  ducis. 

SENECA 
Servare  cives  maior  est  patriae  |)atri. 

NERO 
Praecipere  mitem  converiit  pueris  senem. 

SENECA 
Regenda  rnagis  est  fervida  adolescentia. 

NERO 

Aetate  in  hac  sat  esse  consilii  reor. 

SENECA 
Vt  facta  superi  comprobent  semper  tua. 

NERO 
Stulte  verebor,  ipse  cum  faciam,  deos. 


442 


OCTAV1A 

PREFECT 

Thy  bidding  will  I  do:  to  the  camp  forthwith  I'll 
take  me.  [Exit. 

SENECA 

'Tis  not  becoming  to  proceed  rashly  'gainst  one's 
friends. 

NERO 

'Tis  easy  to  be  just  when  the  heart  is  free  from 
fear. 

SENECA 

A  sovereign  cure  for  fear  is  clemency. 

NERO 
To  destroy  foes  is  a  leader's  greatest  virtue. 

SENECA 

For  the  father  of  his  country  to  save  citizens,  is 
greater  still. 

NERO 

A  mild  old  man  should  give  schooling  to  boys. 

SENECA 
More  needful  'tis  that  fiery  youth  be  ruled. 

NERO 
I  deem  that  at  this  age  we  are  wise  enough. 

SENECA 
May  thy  deeds  be  ever  pleasing  to  the  gods. 

NERO 

Foolish  I'd  be  to  fear  the   gods,  when  I  myself 
make  them.1 

1  Referring  to  his  own  act  in  deifying  the  late  Claudius. 

448 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

SENECA 

Hoc  plus  verere  quod  licet  tantum  tibi.  450 

NERO 
Fortuna  nostra  cuncta  permittit  mihi. 

SENECA 

Crede  obsequenti  parcius  ;  levis  est  dea. 

NERO 
Inertis  est  nescire  quid  liceat  sibi. 

SENECA 
Id  facere  laus  est  quod  decet,  non  quod  licet. 

NERO 
Calcat  iacentem  vulgus. 

SENECA 

Invisum  opprimit. 

NERO 
Ferrum  tuetur  principem. 

SENECA 

Melius  fides. 

NERO 

Decet  timeri  Caesarem. 

SENECA 
At  plus  diligi.1 

NERO 

Metuant  necesse  est — 

1  Leo  deletes  decet  .  .  .  diligi. 
444 


OCTAVIA 

SENECA 

Fear  thou  the  more,  that  so  great  power  is  thine. 

NERO 
My  fortune  doth  allow  all  things  to  me. 

SENECA 

Indulgent  fortune  trust  more  cautiously ;  she  is  a 
fickle  goddess. 

NERO 

"Tis  a  dullard's  part  not  to  know  what  he  may  do. 

SENECA 

'Tis  praiseworthy  to  do,  not  what  one  may,  but 
what  one  ought. 

NERO 

Him  who  lies  down  the  crowd  trample  on. 

SENECA 
Him  whom  they  hate,  they  crush. 

NERO 
The  sword  protects  the  prince. 

8ENECA 

Still  better,  loyalty. 

NERO 
A  Caesar  should  be  feared. 

SENECA 

But  more  be  loved. 

NERO 

But  men  must  fear — 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

SENECA 

Quidquid  exprimitur  grave  est. 

NERO 
lussisque  nostris  pareant. 

SENECA 

lusta  impera — • 

NERO 
Statuam  ipse. 

SENECA 

Quae  consensus  efficiat  rata.  460 

NERO 
Respectus  l  ensis  faciet. 

SENECA 

Hoc  absit  nefas. 

NERO 

An  patiar  ultra  sanguinem  nostrum  peti, 
inultus  et  contemptus  ut  subito  opprimar? 
exilia  non  fregere  summotos  procul 
Plautum  atque  Sullam,  pertinax  quorum  furor 
armat  ministros  sceleris  in  caedem  meam, 
absentium  cum  maneat  etiam  ingens  favor 
in  urbe  iiostra,  qui  fovet  spes  exulum. 
tollantur  hostes  ense  suspecti  mihi, 
invisa  coniunx  pereat  et  carum  sibi  470 

fratrem  sequatur.     quidquid  excelsum  est  cadat. 

SENECA 

Fulcrum  eminere  est  inter  illustres  viros, 
consulere  patriae,  parcere  afflictis,  fera 

1  So  Buecheler  and  Richter:  Leo,  with  the  MSS.t  Despectus 
Wilamowitz  despectum  ut  ensis  feriat  ? 

446 


OCTAVIA 

SENECA 

What  is  compelled  is  burdensome. 


NERO 
Let  them  obey  our  orders. 


SENECA 

Give  righteous  orders — 

NERO 
I  shall  myself  decide. 

SENECA 

which  the  general  thought  may  ratify. 

NERO 
Reverence  for  the  sword  wUl  ratify  them. 

SENECA 

May  heaven  forbid ! 
NERO 

Shall  I  then  go  on  suffering  them  to  seek  my  blood, 
that,  unavenged  and  scorned,  I  may  suddenly  be 
crushed  ?  Exile  has  not  broken  Plautus  and  Sulla, 
though  far  removed,  whose  persistent  rage  arms  the 
agents  of  their  guilt  to  work  my  death,  since  still, 
though  absent,  great  is  the  favour  they  enjoy  in  this 
our  city,  which  nurtures  the  exiles'  hopes.  Let  the 
sword  remove  foemen  whom  I  suspect ;  let  my  hateful 
wife  perish  and  follow  the  brother  whom  she  loves. 
Whatever  is  high  exalted,  let  it  fall. 

SENECA 

'Tis  glorious  to  tower  aloft  amongst  great  men,  to 
have  care  for  father-land,  to  spare  the  downtrodden, 


447 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

caede  abstinere  tempus  atque  irae  dare, 

orbi  quietem,  saeculo  pacem  suo. 

haec  summa  virtus,  petitur  hac  caelum  via. 

sic  ille  patriae  primus  Augustus  parens 

complexus  astra  est  colitur  et  templis  dens. 

ilium  tamen  Fortuna  iactavit  diu 

terra  marique  per  graves  belli  vices,  480 

hostes  parentis  donee  oppressit  sui ; 

tibi  numen  incruenta  summisit  suum 

et  dedit  habenas  imperi  facili  manu 

nutuque  terras  maria  subiecit  tuo. 

invidia  tristis  victa  consensu  pio 

cessit ;  senatus,  equitis  accensus  favor ; 

plebisque  votis  atque  iudicio  patrum 

tu  pacis  auctor,  generis  humani  arbiter 

electus  orbem  iam  sacra  specie  regis 

patriae  parens  ;  quod  nomen  ut  serves  petit  490 

suosque  cives  Roma  commendat  tibi. 

NERO 

Munus  deorum  est,  ipsa  quod  servit  mihi 
Roma  et  senatus  quodque  ab  invitis  preces 
humilesque  voces  exprimit  nostri  metus. 
servare  cives  principi  et  patriae  graves, 
claro  tumentes  genere — quae  dementia  est, 
cum  liceat  una  voce  suspectos  sibi 
mori  iubere  ?  Brutus  in  caedem  ducis, 
a  quo  salutem  tulerat,  armavit  manus  ; 
invictus  acie,  gentium  domitor,  lovi  500 

aequatus  altos  ipse  per  honorum  gradus 
Caesar  nefando  civium  scelere  occidit. 
quantum  cruoris  Roma  turn  vidit  sui, 
lacerata  totiens  !  ille  qui  meruit  pia 
virtute  caelum,  divus  Augustus,  viros 

448 


OCTAVIA 

to  abstain  from  cruel  bloodshed,  to  be  slow  to  wrath, 
give  quiet  to  the  world,  peace  to  one's  time.  This  is 
virtue's  crown,  by  this  way  is  heaven  sought.  So  did 
that  first  Augustus,  his  country's  father,  gain  the 
stars,  and  is  worshipped  in  the  temples  as  a  god. 
Yet  him  did  Fortune  toss  for  long  on  land  and  sea 
in  battle's  deadly  chances,  until  his  father's  foes  he 
overwhelmed.  But  to  thee  hath  she  yielded  her 
divinity,  unstained  of  blood ;  hath  with  easy  hand 
given  thee  the  reins  of  government,  and  to  thy  nod 
subjected  lands  and  seas.  Sour  hate,  o'ercome,  hath 
yielded  in  loyal  harmony  ;  the  senate's  favour  and 
the  knights'  is  warm  toward  thee ;  and  by  the 
people's  prayers  and  the  judgment  of  the  Fathers, 
thou  art  the  source  of  peace,  the  arbiter  of  human 
destinies,  chosen  to  rule  the  world  with  godlike  mien, 
the  country's  father.  This  name  Rome  prays  thee 
to  preserve,  and  to  thy  care  commends  her  citizens. 

NERO 

'Tis  the  gift  of  heaven  that  Rome  herself  and  the 
senate  are  subject  unto  me,  and  that  from  unwilling 
lips  prayers  and  servile  words  are  extorted  by  fear 
of  me.  To  preserve  citizens,  to  ruler  and  father- 
land alike  oppressive,  puffed  up  with  pride  of  race- 
what  folly  is't,  when  with  a  word  one  may  give  to 
death  those  he  suspects  ?  Brutus  for  the  murder  of 
his  chief,  to  whom  he  owed  his  safety,  armed  his 
hands  ;  and  Caesar,  invincible  in  battle  shock,  tamer 
of  nations,  walking,  a  very  Jove,  along  the  upward 
path  of  honours,  died  by  the  unspeakable  crime  of 
citizens.  What  streams  of  her  own  blood  did  Rome 
then  behold,  so  often  rent  with  strife !  He  who 
earned  heaven  by  piety,  the  deified  Augustus,  how 

449 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quot  interemit  nobiles,  iuvenes  senes 

sparsos  per  orbem,  cum  suos  mortis  metu 

fugerent  penates  et  trium  ferrum  ducum, 

tabula  notante  deditos  tristi  neci ! 

exposita  rostris  capita  caesorum  patres  5 1 0 

videre  maesti,  flere  nee  licuit  suos, 

non  gemere  dira  tabe  pollute  foro, 

stillante  sanie  per  putres  vultus  gravi. 

nee  finis  hie  cruoris  aut  caedis  stetit : 

pavere  volucres  et  feras  saevas  diu 

tristes  Philippi,  hausit  et  Siculum  mare 

classes  virosque  l  saepe  cedentes  ;  suis 

concussus  orbis  viribus.     magnus  ducum 

superatus  acie,  puppibus  Nilum  petit 

fugae  parutis,  ipse  periturus  brevi  ;  520 

hausit  cruorem  incesta  Romani  ducis 

Aegjptus  iterum ;  nunc  leves  umbras  tegit. 

illic  sepultum  est  impie  gestum  diu 

civile  bellum.     condidit  tandem  suos 

iam  fessus  enses  victor  hebetatos  feris 

vulneribus,  et  continuit  imperium  metus. 

armis  fideque  militis  tutus  fuit, 

pietate  nati  factus  eximia  deus, 

post  fata  consecratus  et  templis  datus. 

nos  quoque  manebunt  astra,  si  saevo  prior  530 

ense  occuparo  quidquid  infestura  est  mihi 

dignaque  nostram  subole  fundaro  domum. 

1  The  text  here  is  hopelessly  corrupt  and  has  been  variously 
emended.  Schroeder's  emendation  is  at  least  \ntelligible.  Leo 
reads 

saepe  cedentes  suos 
concussus  orbis  viribus  magnus  ducum 
superatus,  etc. 
450 


OCTAVIA 

many  nobles  did  he  put  to  death,  young  men  and  old, 
scattered  throughout  the  world,  when  they  fled  their 
own  homes  through  fear  of  death  and  the  sword  of 
the  three  banded  chiefs  ] — all  by  the  accusing  list 2 
delivered  to  grim  destruction  !  The  grieving  fathers 
saw  the  heads  of  the  slain  set  out  upon  the  rostra, 
but  dared  not  weep  their  dead  nor  groan,  while  the 
forum  reeked  with  foul  corruption,  and  sluggish  gore 
dripped  down  the  rotting  faces.  Nor  was  this  the 
end  of  slaughter  and  of  blood  :  long  did  grim  Philippi 
feed  birds  and  beasts  of  prey,  and  the  Sicilian  sea 
engulfed  fleets  and  men  often  retreating ;  the  world  3 
was  shaken  by  its  own  contending  forces.  The  great 4 
commander,  by  the  leaders'  array  o'ercome,  with  his 
ships  prepared  for  flight,  hied  him  to  the  Nile,  him- 
self doomed  soon  to  perish ;  incestuous 5  Egypt  a 
second 6  time  drank  a  Roman  leader's  blood,  and 
now  covers  his  flitting  shade.  There  civil  strife  is 
buried,  waged  impiously  and  long.  At  last  the 
victor  7  now  weary,  sheathed  his  sword,  blunted  with 
savage  blows,  and  maintained  his  sway  by  fear.  Safe 
under  the  protection  of  his  loyal  guards  he  lived,  and 
when  he  died,  by  the  surpassing  piety  of  his  son 8 
was  made  a  god,  hallowed  and  enshrined.  Me,  too, 
shall  the  stars  await,  if  with  relentless  sword  I  first 
destroy  whate'er  is  hostile  to  me,  and  on  a  worthy 
offspring  found  my  house. 

1  The     Second     Triumvirate,     Lepidus,     Antonius,     and 
Octavius.  2  The  proscription  lists. 

3  i.e.  the  world  of  the  Roman  Empire. 

4  Evidently  referring  to  Marcus  Antonius,  as  the  context 
shows. 

*  Because  of  the  marriage  of  Cleopatra  with  her  brother, 
Ptolemy. 

6  The  implied  first  was  On.  Pompeius.  7  Octavius. 

*  Tiberius,  the  adopted  son  of  Augustus. 

45  J 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

SENECA 

Implebit  aulam  stirpe  caelesti  tuam 
generata  divo  Claudiae  gentis  decus, 
sortita  fratris  more  lunonis  toros. 

NERO 

Incesta  genetrix  detrahit  generi  fidem, 
animusque  numquam  coniugis  iunctus  milri. 

SENECA 

Teneris  in  annis  baud  satis  clarus  ferest,1 
pudore  victus  cum  tegit  Mammas,  amor. 

NERO 

Hoc  equidem  et  ipse  credidi  frustra  diu,  540 

manifesta  quamvis  pectore  insociabili 
vul tuque  signa  proderent  odium  mei ; 
tandem  quod  ardens  statuit  ulcisci  dolor, 
dignamque  thalamis  coniugem  inveni  meis 
genere  atque  forma,  victa  cui  cedat  Venus 
lovisque  coniunx  et  ferox  armis  dea. 

SENECA 

Probitas  fidesque  coniugis,  mores  pudor 
placeant  marito  ;  sola  perpetuo  manent 
subiecta  nulli  mentis  atque  animi  bona ; 
Horem  decoris  singuli  carpunt  dies.  550 

NERO 

Omnes  in  unam  contulit  laudes  deus 
talemque  nasci  fata  voluerunt  mihi. 

1  clara  eat  fides  A,  emended  by  Leo,  and  with  reason,  for 
the  fides  of  line  536  is  not  in  question,  but  the  amor  implicit  in 
line  537. 

4-52 


OCTAVIA 

SENECA 

With  stock  celestial  will  she  l  fill  thy  halls,  she, 
the  daughter  of  a  god,2  the  Claudian  race's  glory, 
who  has,  like  Juno,  gained  her  brother's  bed. 

NERO 

A  harlot  mother  3  brings  her  birth    in    doubt;— 
and  the  soul  of  my  wife  was  never  linked  with  mine. 

SENECA 

In  tender  years  rarely  is  love  revealed,  when,  by 
modesty  o'ercome,  it  hides  its  fires. 

NERO 

This  truly  I,  too,  myself  have  vainly  trusted  long, 
although  clear  signs  from  her  unloving  heart  and 
face  betrayed  her  hate  of  me ;  which  to  avenge  at 
last  my  hot  grief  has  resolved.  And  now  I  have 
found  a  wife  worthy  of  my  bed  in  birth  and  beauty,  to 
whom  Venus,  outshone,  would  yield,  and  the  wife  of 
Jove  and  the  goddess4  bold  in  battle. 

SENECA 

But  honour,  wifely  faith,  virtue  and  modesty, 
should  please  a  husband  ;  for  'tis  these  only,  the 
treasures  of  mind  and  heart,  that,  subject  to  none, 
abide  perpetual ;  but  beauty's  flower  each  passing 
day  despoils. 

NERO 

All  charms  upon  one  woman  has  God  bestowed, 
and  such  was  she  born, — so  have  the  fates  decreed, — 
for  me. 

1  Octavia. 

J  Claudius,    by   courtesy   and   custom    called   divus    after 
death.  *  Messalina.  *  Minerva. 

453 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

SENECA 

Recedet  a  te  (temere  ne  credas)  amor. 

NERO 

Quern  summovere  fulminis  dominus  nequit, 
caeli  tyrannum,  saeva  qui  penetrat  freta 
Ditisque  regna,  detrahit  superos  polo  ? 

SENECA 

Volucrem  esse  Amorem  fingit  immitem  deum 
mortalis  error,  armat  et  telis  manus 
arcuque  sacras,  instruit  saeva  face 
genitumque  credit  Venere,  Vulcano  satum.  560 

vis  magna  mentis  blandus  atque  animi  calor 
Amor  est ;  iuventa  gignijtur,  luxu  otio 
nutritur  inter  laeta  Fortunae  bona  ; 
quern  si  fovere  atque  alere  desistas,  cadit 
brevique  vires  perdit  extinctus  suas. 

NERO 

Hanc  esse  vitae  max  imam  causam  reor, 
per  quam  voluptas  oritur  ;  interitu  caret, 
cum  procreetur  semper  humanum  genus 
Amore  grato,  qui  truces  mulcet  feras. 
hie  mihi  iugales  praeferat  taedas  deus  570 

iungatque  nostris  igne  Poppaeam  toris. 

SENECA 

Vix  sustinere  possit  hos  thalamos  dolor 
videre  populi,  sancta  nee  pietas  sinat. 


NERO 
Prohibebor  unus  facere  quod  cunctis  licet  ? 


454 


OCTAVIA 

SENECA 

Love  will  depart  from  thee,  be  not  too  credulous. 

NERO 

What  ?  He  whom  the  lightning's  lord  cannot  put 
off?  Heaven's  tyrant,  who  enters  the  savage  seas  and 
the  realm  of  Dis,  and  draws  gods  from  the  sky? 

SENECA 

'Tis  our  human  ignorance  fashions  Love  a  winged 
god,  implacable,  and  arms  with  shafts  and  bow  his 
sacred  hands,  equips  him  with  blazing  torch,  and 
counts  him  the  son  of  Venus,  Vulcan's  seed.  This 
"  Love  "  is  a  mighty  force  of  mind,  a  fond  heat  of  the 
soul ;  'tis  born  of  youth,  'tis  nursed  by  luxury  and 
ease  midst  the  glad  gifts  of  Fortune  ;  and  if  thou 
cease  to  feed  and  foster  it,  it  falls  away  and  quickly 
is  its  power  dead  and  lost. 

NERO 

This  do  I  deem  the  chiefest  source  of  life,  whence 
pleasure  hath  its  birth  ;  'tis  a  deathless  thing,  since 
the  human  race  is  evermore  renewed  by  pleasing 
Love,  who  softens  e'en  savage  beasts.  May  this  god 
bear  before  me  the  wedding  torch,  and  with  his  fire 
join  Poppaea  to  my  bed. 

SENECA 

The  people's  grief  could  scarce  endure  to  see  such 
marriage,  nor  would  holy  reverence  allow  it. 

NERO 
Shall  1  alone  be  forbidden  what  all  may  do  ? 

455 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF    SENECA 

SENECA 

Maiora  populus  semper  a  summo  exigit. 

NERO 

Libet  experiri,  viribus  fractus  meis 
an  cedat  animis  temere  conceptus  favor. 

SENECA 
Obsequere  potius  civibus  placidus  tuis. 

NERO 
Male  imperatur,  cum  regit  vulgus  duces. 

SENECA 
Nihil  impetrare  cum  valet,  iuste  dolet.  580 

NERO 
Exprimere  ius  est,  ferre  quod  nequeunt  preces  ? 

SENECA 
Negare  durum  est. 

NERO 

Principem  cogi  nefas. 

SENECA 
Remittat  ipse. 

NERO 
Fama  sed  victum  feret. 

SENECA 
Levis  atque  vana. 

NERO 

Sit  licet,  multos  notat. 
456 


OCTAVIA 

SENECA 

Greatest  from  highest  ever  the  state  exacts. 

NERO 

Fain  would  I  make  trial  whether,  broken  by  my 
might,  this  rashly  cherished  regard  would  not  vanish 
from  their  hearts. 

SENECA 

Bend,  rather,  peacefully  to  thy  people's  will. 

NERO 
111  fares  the  state  when  commons  govern  kings. 

SENECA 

He  justly  chafes  who  naught  avails  by  prayer 

NERO 
Is  it  right  to  extort  what  prayer  cannot  obtain 

SENECA 
To  refuse  is  harsh. 

NERO 

To  force  a  prince  is  outrage. 

SENECA 
He  should  himself  give  way. 

NERO 
But  rumour  will  report  him  conquered. 

SENECA 
A  trivial  and  empty  thing  is  rumour. 

NERO 

E'en  so,  it  disgraces  many. 

457 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

SENECA 


Excelsa  metuit. 

NERO 

Non  minus  carpit  tamen. 

SENECA 

Facile  opprimetur.     merita  te  divi  patris 
aetasque  frangat  coniugis,  probitas  pudor. 

NERO 

Desiste  tandem,  iam  gravis  nimium  mihi, 
instare  ;  liceat  facere  quod  Seneca  improbat. 
iam  pridem  et  ipse  vota  Poppaeae  moror,1  590 

cum  portet  utero  pignus  et  partem  mei. 
quin  destinamus  proximum  thalamis  diem  ? 


AGRIPP1NA 

Tellure  rupta  Tartaro  gressum  extuli, 
Stygiam  cruenta  praeferens  dextra  facem 
thalamis  scelestis.     iiubat  his  flammis  meo 
Poppaea  nato  iuncta,  quas  vindex  manus 
dolorque  matris  vertet  ad  tristes  rogos. 
manet  inter  umbras  impiae  caedis  mihi 
semper  memoria,  manibus  nostris  gravis 
adhuc  inultis.     reddita  est  meritis  meis  600 

funesta  merces  puppis  et  pretium  imperi 
nox  ilia  qua  naufragia  deflevi  mea  ; 
comitum  necem  natique  crudelis  nefas 
deflere  votum  fuerat — hand  tempus  datum  est 

1  So  Bueclider.     Leo  reads  et  ipse  populi  vota  iam  pridem 
moror.     populi  is  impossible  in  view  of  the  next  line. 

4-58 


OCTAVIA 

SENECA 

It  fears  the  high  exalted. 

NEKO 

But  none  the  less  maligns. 

SENECA 

Twill  easily  be  crushed.  Let  the  merits  of  thy 
sainted  father l  break  thy  will,2  and  thy  wife's  youth, 
her  faith,  her  chastity. 

NERO 

Have  done  at  last ;  already  too  wearisome  has  thy 
insistence  grown ;  permit  me  to  do  what  Seneca 
disapproves.  Long  since  am  I  myself  Poppaea's 
prayers  delaying,  since  in  her  womb  she  bears  a 
pledge  and  part  of  me.  Why  not  appoint  to-morrow 
for  the  wedding  day  ?  [Exeunt. 

[Enter  Ghost  of  AGRIPPINA  beating  a  flaming  torch.] 

AGRIPPINA 

Through  the  rent  earth  from  Tartarus  have  I  come 
forth,  bringing  in  bloody  hand  a  Stygian  torch  to 
these  curst  marriage  rites.  With  these  flames  let 
Poppaea  wed  my  son,  which  a  mother's  avenging 
hand  and  grief  shall  turn  to  grim  funeral  pyres. 
Ever  amidst  the  shades  the  memory  of  my  impious 
murder  abides  with  me,  burdening  my  ghost  still 
unavenged.  The  payment  I  received  for  all  my 
services  was  that  death-fraught  ship,  and  the  reward 
of  empire,  that  night  wherein  I  mourned  my  wreck. 
My  comrades'  murder  and  my  son's  heartless 
crime  I  would  have  wept — no  time  was  given  for 

1  i.e.  his  adoptive  father,  Claudius. 
*  In  the  matter  of  Poppaea. 

459 


THE  TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

lacrimis,  sed  ingens  scclere  geminavit  nefas. 

perempta  ferro,  foeda  vulneribus  sacros 

intra  penates  spiritum  efFudi  gravem 

erepta  pelago,  sanguine  extinxi  meo 

nee  odia  nati.     saevit  in  nomen  ferus 

matris  tyrannus,  obrui  meritum  cupit,  610 

simulacra,  titulos  destruit  mortis  l  metu 

totum  per  orbem  quern  dedit  poenam  in  meam 

puero  regendum  noster  infelix  amor. 

Extinctus  umbras  agitat  infestus  meas 
flammisque  vultus  noxios  coniunx  petit, 
instat,  minatur,  imputat  fatum  mihi 
tumulumque  nati,  poscit  auctorem  necis. 
iam  parce  ;  dabitur,  tempus  baud  longum  peto. 
ultrix  Erinys  impio  dignum  parat 
letum  tyranno,  verbera  et  turpem  fugam  620 

poenasque  quis  et  Tantali  vincat  sitim, 
dirum  laborem  Sisyphi,  Tityi  alitem 
Ixionisque  membra  rapientem  rotam. 
licet  extruat  marmoribus  atque  auro  tegat 
superbus  aulam,  limen  armatae  ducis 
servent  cohortes,  mittat  immensas  opes 
exhaustus  orbis,  supplices  dextram  petant 
Parthi  cruentam,  regna  divitias  ferant ; 
veniet  dies  tempusque  quo  reddat  suis 
animam  nocentem  sceleribus,  iugulum  hostibus     630 
desertus  ac  destructus  et  cunctis  egens. 

o 

Heu,  quo  labor,  quo  vota  ceciderunt  mea  ? 
1  So  A.     Leo,  following  Buechder,  matris. 

Britannicus.  *  Nero. 

1  It  is  the  following  passage  which  forms  the  chief  argu- 

460 


OCTAVIA 

tears,  but  with  crime  he  doubled  that  awful  crime. 
Though  saved  from  the  sea,  yet  by  the  sword  un- 
done, loathsome  with  wounds,  midst  the  holy  images 
I  gave  up  my  troubled  ghost.  Still  my  blood 
quenched  not  the  hatred  of  my  son.  Rages  the 
mad  tyrant  against  his  mother's  name,  longs  to  blot 
out  her  merits ;  my  statues,  my  inscriptions  he 
destroys  by  threat  of  death  throughout  the  world- 
the  world  which,  to  my  own  punishment,  my  ill- 
starred  love  gave  to  a  boy's  government. 

[She  seems  to  sec  her  husband's  ghost. ,] 
en  Wrathfully  doth  my  dead  husband  harass  my 
ghost,  and  with  torches  attacks  my  guilty  face  ;  pur- 
sues me,  threatens,  charges  to  me  his  death  and  his 
son's1  burial  mound,  demands  the  author2  of  the 
murderous  deed.  Have  done  ;  he  shall  be  given ;  'tis 
no  long  time  I  seek.  The  avenging  Fury  plans  for 
the  impious  tyrant  a  worthy  doom  3  ;  blows  and  base 
flight  and  sufferings  whereby  he  may  surpass  e'en 
Tantalus'  thirst,  the  dread  toil  of  Sisyphus,  the  bird 
of  Tityus  and  the  wheel  which  whirls  Ixion's  limbs 
around.  Though  in  his  pride  he  build  him  marble 
palaces  and  roof  them  in  with  gold,  though  armed 
guards  stand  at  their  chieftain's  door,  though  the 
beggared  world  send  him  its  boundless  riches,  though 
Parthians  in  suppliance  seek  his  bloody  hand,  though 
kingdoms  bring  wealth  to  him  ;  the  day  and  the  hour 
will  come  when  for  his  crimes  he  shall  pay  his  guilty 
soul,  shall  give  his  throat  to  his  enemies,  abandoned 
and  undone  and  stripped  of  all. 

632  Alas  !  to  what  end  my  labour  and  my  prayers  ? 

ment  of  those  who  deny  the  Senecan  authorship  of  this  play, 
on  the  ground  that  it  gives  in  the  form  of  prophecy  a  cir- 
cumstantial account  of  the  death  of  Nero,  in  68  A.D.,  whereas 
Seneca  died  in  65. 

461 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quo  te  furor  provexit  attonitum  tuus 

et  fata,  nate,  cedat  ut  tantis  malis 

genetricis  ira  quae  tuo  scelere  occidit  ? 

utinam  antequam  te  parvulum  in  lucem  edidi 

aluique,  saevae  nostra  lacerassent  ferae 

viscera ;  sine  ullo  scelere,  sine  sensu  innocens 

meus  occidisses  ;  iunctus  atque  haerens  mihi 

semper  quietam  cerneres  sedem  inferum,  640 

proavos  patremque,  nominis  magni  viros, 

quos  nunc  pudor  luctusque  perpetuus  manet 

ex  te,  nefande,  meque  quae  talem  tuli. 

quid  tegere  cesso  Tartaro  vultus  meos, 

noverca  coniunx  mater  infelix  meis  ? 


OCTAVIA 

Parcite  lacrimis  urbis  festo 
laetoque  die,  ne  tantus  amor 
nostrique  favor  principis  acres 
suscitet  iras  vobisque  ego  sim 
causa  malorum.     non  hoc  primum  650 

pectora  vulnus  mea  senserunt ; 
graviora  tuli ;  dabit  hie  nostris 
finem  curis  vel  morte  dies, 
non  ego  saevi  cernere  cogar 
coniugis  ora, 
non  invisos  intrare  mihi 
thalamos  famulae ; 
soror  Augusti,  non  uxor  ero. 
absint  tantum  tristes  poenae 
letique  metus.  660 

scelerum  diri,  miseranda,  viri 
potes  hoc  demens  sperare  memor  ? 
hos  ad  thalamos  servata  diu 
4-62 


OCTAVIA 

Hath  thy  frenzy  carried  thee  so  far  in  madness,  and 
thy  destiny,  my  son,  that  the  wrath  of  a  mother 
murdered  by  thy  hand  gives  way  before  such  woes  ? 
Would  that,  ere  I  brought  thee,  a  tiny  babe,  to  light, 
and  suckled  thee,  savage  beasts  of  prey  had  rent 
my  vitals ;  then  without  crime,  without  sense  and 
innocent,  thou  wouldst  have  died— my  own;  close 
clinging  to  my  side,  thou  wouldst  forever  see  the 
quiet  seats  of  the  underworld,  thy  grandsires  and 
thy  sire,  heroes  of  glorious  name,  whom  now  shame 
and  grief  perpetual  await  because  of  thee,  thou 
monster,  and  of  me  who  bore  such  son.  But  why 
delay  to  hide  my  face  in  Tartarus,  as  step-dame, 
mother,  wife,  a  curse  unto  my  own  ? 

[The  Ghost  vanishes.     Enter  OCTAVIA.] 

OCTAVIA  [to  the  Chorus] 

Restrain  your  tears  on  this  glad,  festal  day  of 
Rome,  lest  your  great  love  and  care  for  me  arouse 
the  emperor's  sharp  wrath,  and  I  be  cause  of 
suffering  to  you.  This  wound  l  is  not  the  first  my 
heart  has  felt ;  far  heavier  have  I  borne  ;  but  this 
day  shall  end  my  cares  e'en  by  my  death.  No  more 
shall  I  be  forced  to  look  on  my  brutal  husband's  face, 
nor  to  enter  a  slave's  chamber  which  I  hate ; 
Augustus'  sister  shall  I  be,  not  wife.  Only  may  I 
be  spared  dire  punishments  and  fearful  death. - 
And  canst  thou,  poor,  foolish  girl,  remembering  thy 
cruel  husband's  crimes,  yet  hope  for  this?  Long 
kept  back  for  this  marriage-festival,  thou  shalt  fall 

1  i.e.  her  divorce  and  disgrace. 

463 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

victima  tandem  funesta  cades, 
sed  quid  patrios  saepe  penates 
respicis  udis  confusa  genis  ? 
propera  tectis  efferre  gradus, 
linque  cruentam  principis  aulam. 

CIIORVS 

En  illuxit  suspecta  diu, 

fama  totiens  iactata  dies.  670 

cessit  thalamis  Claudia  diri 
pulsa  Neronis,  quo  iam  victrix 
Poppaea  tenet,  cessat  pietas 
dum  nostra  gravi  compressa  metu 
segnisque  dolor, 
ubi  Romani  vis  est  populi, 
fregit  claros  quae  saepe  duces, 
dedit  invictae  leges  patriae, 
fasces  dignis  civibus  olim, 
iussit  bellum  pacemque,  feras  680 

gentes  domuit, 
captos  reges  carcere  clausit  ? 
gravis  en  oculis  undique  nostris 
iam  Poppaeae  fulget  imago, 
iuncta  Neroni ! 
affligat  humo  violenta  manus 
similes  nimium  vultus  dominae 
ipsamque  toris  detrahat  altis, 
petat  infestis  mox  et  flammis 
telisque  feris  principis  aulam. 

NVTRIX    POPPAEAE 

Quo  trepida  gressum  coniugis  thalamis  tui          690 
effers,  alumna,  quidve  secretum  petis 

1  i.e.  Octavia. 
464 


OCTAVIA 

at  last,  an  ill-starred  victim.  But  why  so  often  to 
thy  father's  house  dost  look  back  with  streaming 
eyes?  Haste  thee  to  leave  this  roof;  abandon  the 
blood-stained  palace  of  the  emperor.  [Exit. 

CHORUS 

Lo,  now  has  dawned  the  day  long  dim  foreseen,, 
so  oft  by  rumour  bruited.  Departed  is  Claudia1 
from  cruel  Nero's  chamber,  which  e'en  now  Poppaea 
holds  in  triumph,  while  lags  our  love  by  grievous 
fear  repressed,  and  grief  is  numb.  Where  is  the 
Roman  people's  manhood  now,  which  oft  in  olden 
times  hath  crushed  illustrious  chiefs,  given  laws  to 
an  unconquered  land,2  the  fasces  to  worthy  citizens, 
made  war  and  peace  at  will,  conquered  wild  races 
and  imprisoned  captive  kings  ?  Lo,  grievous  to  our 
sight,  on  every  hand  now  gleams  Poppaea's  image, 
with  Nero's  joined  !  Let  violent  hands  throw  them 
to  the  ground,  too  like  their  mistress'  features ;  let 
them  drag  her  down  from  her  lofty  couch,  and  then 
with  devouring  flames  and  savage  spears  attack  the 
palace  of  the  emperor.  [Exit  CHORUS. 

[Enter    POPPAEA'S    NURSE    and    POPPAEA    herself,    who 
appears,   distraught,  coming  out   of  her  chamber.'] 

NURSE 

Whither,  dear  child,  dost  pass  all  trembling  from 
the  chamber  of  thy  lord,  or  what  hidden  place  seekst 

2  i.e.  withstood  all  outside  enemies  and  righteously  ruled 
within  the  father-land. 

465 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

turbata  vultu  ?     cur  genae  fletu  madent  ? 

certe  petitus  precibus  et  votis  dies 

aostris  refulsit ;  Caesari  iuncta  es  tuo 

taeda  iugali,  quern  tuus  cepit  decor, 

contempta  l  Senecae  tradidit  vinctum  tibi 

genetrix  Amoris,  maximum  numen,  Venus. 

o  qualis  altos  quanta  pressisti  toros 

residens  in  aula  !     vidit  attonitus  tuam 

formam  senatus,  tura  cum  superis  dares  700 

sacrasque  grato  spargeres  aras  mero, 

velata  summum  flammeo  tenui  caput ; 

et  ipse  lateri  iunctus  atque  haerens  tuo 

sublimis  inter  civium  laeta  omina 

incessit  habitu  atque  ore  laetitiam  gerens 

princeps  superbo.     talis  emersam  freto 

spumante  Peleus  coniugem  accepit  Thetin, 

quorum  toros  celebrasse  caelestes  ferunt, 

pelagique  numen  omne  consensu  pari. 

quae  subita  vultus  causa  mutavit  tuos  ?  710 

quid  pallor  iste,  quid  ferant  lacrimae  doce. 

POPPA EA 

Confusa  tristi  proximae  noctis  metu 
visuque,  nutrix,  mente  turbata  feror, 
defecta  sensu.     laeta  nam  postquam  dies 
sideribus  atris  cessit  et  nocti  polus, 
inter  Neronis  iuncta  complexus  mei 
somno  resolvor ;  nee  diu  placida  frul 
quiete  licuit.     visa  nam  thalamos  meos 
celebrare  turba  est  maesta  ;  resolutis  comis 
matres  Latinae  flebiles  planctus  dabant ;  720 

inter  tubarum  saepe  terribilem  sonum 
sparsam  cruore  coniugis  genetrix  mei 
vultu  minaci  saeva  quatiebat  facem. 

1  et  culpa  Senecae  A,  variously  emended     by  Leo  as  above. 

466 


OCTAVIA 

thou  with  troubled  face  ?  Why  are  thy  cheeks  wet 
with  weeping  ?  Surely  the  day  sought  by  our  prayers 
and  vows  has  dawned ;  to  thy  Caesar  art  thou  joined 
by  the  marriage  torch,  him  whom  thy  beauty  snared, 
whom  Venus  hath  delivered  in  bonds  to  thee,  Venus, 
of  Seneca  flouted,  mother  of  Love,  most  mighty 
deity.  Oh,  how  beautiful  and  stately  wast  thou  on 
the  high  couch  reclining  in  the  hall !  The  senate 
looked  on  thy  beauty  in  amaze,  when  incense  to  the 
gods  thou  offeredst  and  with  pleasing  wine  didst 
sprinkle  the  sacred  shrines,  thy  head  covered  with 
filmy  marriage-veil,  flame-coloured.  And  close  beside 
thee,  majestic  midst  the  favouring  plaudits  of  the 
citizens,  walked  the  prince  himself,  showing,  in  look 
and  bearing,  his  joy  and  pride.  So  did  Peleus  take 
Thetis  for  his  bride,  risen  up  from  Ocean's  foam, 
to  whose  marriage,  they  say,  the  heaven-dwellers 
thronged,  and  with  equal  joy  each  sea  divinity. 
What  cause  so  suddenly  has  changed  thy  face  ? 
Tell  me  what  mean  thy  pallor  and  thy  tears. 

POPPAEA 

My  sad  heart,  dear  nurse,  is  confused  and  troubled 
by  a  fearful  vision  of  yester-night,  and  my  senses 
reel.  For,  after  joyful  day  had  to  the  dark  stars 
yielded,  and  the  sky  to  night,  held  close  in  my  Nero's 
arms  I  lay  relaxed  in  slumber.  But  not  long  was  it 
granted  to  enjoy  sweet  rest ;  for  my  marriage  chamber 
seemed  thronged  with  many  mourners ;  with  stream- 
ing hair  did  Roman  matrons  come,  making  tearful 
lamentations  ;  midst  oft  repeated  and  fearful  trumpet 
blasts,  my  husband's  mother,1  with  threatening  mien 
and  savage,  brandished  a  blood-spattered  torch. 

1  Agrippina. 

467 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quarn  dum  sequor  coacta  praesenti  metu, 

diducta  subito  patuit  ingenti  mihi 

tellus  hiatu  ;  lata  quo  praeceps  toros 

cerno  iugales  pariter  et  miror  meos, 

in  quis  residi  fessa.     venientem  intuor 

comitante  turba  coniugem  quondam  meum 

natumque  ;  properat  petere  complexus  meos          730 

Crispinus,.intermissa  libare  oscula  ; 

irrupit  intra  tecta  cum  trepidus  mea 

ensemque  iugulo  condidit  saevum  Nero. 

tandem  quietem  magnus  excussit  timor  ; 

quatit  ossa  et  artus  horridus  nostros  tremor 

pulsatque  pectus  ;  coiitinet  vocem  timor, 

quam  mine  fides  pietasque  produxit  tua. 

heu  quid  minantur  inferum  manes  mihi 

aut  quern  cruorem  coniugis  vidi  mei  ? 

NVTRIX 

Quaecumque  mentis  agitat  intentus  l  vigor         740 
ea  per  quietem  sacer  et  arcanus  refert 
veloxque  sensus.     coniugem  thalamos  toros 
vidisse  te  miraris  amplexu  novi 
haerens  mariti  ?     sed  movent  laeto  die 
pulsata  palmis  pectora  et  fusae  comae  ? 
Octaviae  discidia  planxerunt  sacros 
inter  penates  fratris  et  patrium  larem. 
fax  ilia,  quam  secuta  es,  Augustae  manu 
praelata  clarum  nomen  invidia  tibi 
partum  ominatur.     inferum  sedes  toros  750 

stabiles  futures  spondet  aeternae  domus. 
iugulo  quod  ensem  condidit  princeps  tuus, 
bella  haud  movebit,  pace  sed  ferrum  teget. 

1  So  Gronovius :  Leo,  with  A,  infestus. 

1  Crispinus. 
4-68 


OCTAV1A 

While  I  was  following  her,  driven  by  urgent  fear, 
suddenly  the  earth  yawned  beneath  me  in  a  mighty 
chasm.  Downward  through  this  I  plunged  and  there, 
as  on  earth,  beheld  my  wedding-couch,  wondering 
to  behold  it,  whereon  I  sank  in  utter  weariness.  I 
saw  approaching,  with  a  throng  around  him,  my 
former  husband1  and  my  son.2  Crispinus3  hastened 
to  take  me  in  his  ai  ms,  to  kiss  me  as  long  ago  ;  when 
hurriedly  into  my  chamber  Nero  burst  and  buried 
his  savage  sword  in  the  other's  throat-.  At  length  a 
mighty  fear  roused  me  from  slumber  ;  my  bones  and 
limbs  shook  with  a  violent  trembling  ;  my  heart  beat 
wildly ;  fear  checked  my  utterance,  which  now  thy 
love  and  loyalty  have  restored  to  me.  Alas  !  What 
do  the  spirits  of  the  dead  threaten  me,  or  what  means 
the  blood  of  my  husband  that  I  saw  ? 

NURSE 

Whate'er  the  mind's  waking  vigour  eagerly  pur- 
sues, a  mysterious,  secret  sense,  swift  working,  brings 
back  in  sleep.  Dost  marvel  that  thou  didst  behold 
husband  and  marriage-bed,  held  fast  in  thy  new 
lord's  arms?  But  do  hands  beating  breasts  and 
streaming  hair  on  a  day  of  joy  trouble  thee  ?  'Twas 
Octavia's  divorce  they  mourned  midst  her  brother's 
sacred  gods  and  her  father's  house.  That  torch 
which  thou  didst  follow,  borne  in  Augusta's  4  hand, 
foretells  the  name  that  thou  shall  gain  illumed  by 
envy.  Thy  abode  in  the  lower  world5  promises  the 
stablished  marriage-bed  of  a  home  unending.  Where- 
as thine  emperor  buried  his  sword  in  that  other's 
throat,  wars  shall  he  not  wage,  but  in  peace  shall 

8  Rufrius  Crispinus.     For  his  fate,  see  Index. 
*  i.e.  her  husband.  4  i.e.  Agrippina's. 

s  Since  in  that  world  all  things  are  changeless. 

469 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

recollige  animum,  recipe  laetitiam,  precor, 
timore  pulso  redde  te  thalamis  tuis. 

POPPAEA 

Delubra  et  aras  petere  constitui  sacras, 
caesis  litare  victimis  numen  deum, 
ut  expientur  noctis  et  somni  minae 
terrorque  in  hostes  redeat  attonitus  meos. 
tu  vota  pro  me  suscipe  et  precibus  piis  760 

superos  adora,  maneat  ut  praesens  status. 

CHORVS 

Si  vera  loquax  fama  Tonantis 
furta  et  gratos  narrat  amores 
(quern  modo  Ledae  pressisse  sinum 
tectum  plumis  pennisque  ferunt, 
modo  per  fluctus  raptam  Europen 
taurum  tergo  portasse  trucem), 
quae  regit  et  nunc  deseret  astra, 
petet  amplexus,  Poppaea,  tuos, 
quos  et  Ledae  praeferre  potest  770 

et  tibi,  quondam  cui  miranti 
fulvo,  Danae,  fluxit  in  auro. 
formam  Sparte  iactet  alumnae 
licet  et  Phrygius  praemia  pastor 
vincet  vultus  haec  Tyndaridos 

•> 

qui  moverunt  horrida  bella 
Phrygiaeque  solo  regna  dedere. 
Sed  quis  gressu  ruit  attonito 
aut  quid  portat  pectore  anhelo  ? 

NVNTIVS 

Quicumque  tectis  excubat  miles  ducis,  780 

defendat  aulam  cui  furor  populi  imminet. 

4-70 


OCTAVIA 

sheathe  his  sword.  Take  heart  again,  recall  thy 
joy,  I  pray  ;  banish  thy  fear  and  return  thee  to  thy 
chamber. 

POPPAEA 

Rather  am  I  resolved  to  seek  the  shrines  and 
sacred  altars,  and  with  slain  victims  sacrifice  to  the 
holy  gods,  that  the  threats  of  night  and  sleep  may  be 
averted,  and  that  my  crazed  terror  may  turn  against 
my  foes.  Do  thou  make  vows  for  me  and  with  pious 
prayers  implore  the  gods  of  heaven  that  my  present 
lot  may  be  abiding.  [Exeunt. 

CHORUS  [of  Roman  women  in  sympathy  with  POPPAEA] 

If  truly  speaks  babbling  rumour  of  the  Thunderer's 
sweet  stolen  loves,  (who  now,  they  say,  in  feathery 
plumage  hid,  held  Leda  in  his  embrace,  now  over 
the  waves,  in  fierce  bull-form,  the  stolen  Europa 
bore,)  e'en  now  will  he  desert  the  stars  o'er  which 
he  rules  and  seek  thy  arms,  Poppaea,  which  even  to 
Leda's  he  might  prefer,  and  to  thine,  O  Danae, 
before  whose  wondering  eyes  in  olden  time  he 
poured  down  in  yellow  gold.  Let  Sparta  vaunt  the 
beauty  of  her  daughter,1  and  let  the  Phrygian 
shepherd 2  vaunt  his  prize  ;  she 3  will  outshine  the 
face  of  Tyndaris,4  which  set  dread  war  on  foot  and 
levelled  Phrygia's  kingdom  with  the  ground. 

778  But  who  comes  running  with  excited  steps  ? 
What  tidings  bears  he  in  his  heaving  breast  ? 

[Enter  MESSENGER.] 

MESSENGER 

Whatever  guard  holds  watch  o'er  our  leader's 
house,  let  it  defend  the  palace  which  the  people's 

1  Helen.         *  Paris.         •  Poppaea.         4  Helen. 

471 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF   SENECA 

trepidi  cohortes  ecce  praefecti  trahunt 
praesidia  ad  urbis,  victa  nee  cedit  metu 
concepta  rabies  temere,  sed  vires  capit. 


CHORUS 
Quis  iste  mentes  agitat  attonitus  furor  ? 

NVNTIVS 

Octaviae  favore  percussa  agmina 
et  efferata  per  nefas  ingens  ruunt. 

CHORVS 
Quid  ausa  facere  quove  consilio  doce. 

NVNTIVS 

Reddere  penates  Claudiae  divi  parant 
torosque  tratris,  debitara  partem  imperi.  79(! 

CHORVS 
Quos  iam  tenet  Poppaea  concordi  fide  ? 

NVNTIVS 

Hie  urit  animos  pertinax  nimium  favor 
et  in  farorem  temere  praecipites  agit. 
quaecumque  claro  marmore  effigies  stetit 
aut  acre  fulgens,  ora  Poppaeae  gerens, 
afflicta  vulgi  manibus  et  saevo  iacet 
eversa  ferro  ;  membra  per  partes  trahunt 
deducta  laqueis,  obruunt  turpi  diu 
calcata  caeno.     verba  conveniunt  feris 
immixta  factis  quae  timor  reticet  meus.  800 

sepire  flammis  principis  sedem  parant, 

472 


OCTAV1A 

fury  threatens.  See,  in  trembling  haste  the  captains 
are  bringing  cohorts  to  defend  the  town  ;  nor  does 
the  mob's  madness,  rashly  roused,  give  place,  o'er- 
come  with  fear,  but  gathers  strength. 

CHORUS 
What  is  that  wild  frenzy  which  stirs  their  hearts  ? 

MESSENGER 

Smitten  with  love  for  Octavia  and  beside  them- 
selves with  rage,  the  throngs  rush  on,  in  mood  for 
any  crime. 

CHORUS 

What  do  they  dare  to  do,  or  what  is  their  plan, 
tell  thou. 

MESSENGER 

They  plan  to  give  back  to  Claudia1  her  dead  father's 
house,  her  brother's  bed  and  her  due  share  of  empire. 

CHORUS 

Which  even  now  Poppaea  shares  with  her  lord  in 
mutual  loyalty  ? 

MESSENGER 

'Tis  this  too  stubborn  love 2  that  inflames  their 
minds  and  into  rash  madness  drives  them  headlong. 
Whatever  statue  was  set  up  of  noble  marble  or  of 
gleaming  bronze,  which  bore  the  features  of  Poppaea, 
lies  low,  cast  down  by  base-born  hands  and  by 
relentless  bars  o'erturned  ;  the  limbs,  pulled  down  by 
ropes,  they  drag  piecemeal,  trample  them  o'er  and 
o'er  and  cover  them  with  foul  mud.  Commingled 
curses  match  their  savage  acts,  which  I  am  afraid  to 
tell  of.  They  make  ready  to  hem  the  emperor's 

1  Octavia.          a  i.e.  for  Octavia. 

473 


TUB   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

populi  nisi  irae  coniugem  reddat  novara, 
reddat  penates  Claudiae  victus  suos. 
ut  noscat  ipse  civium  motus,  mea 
voce  baud  morabor  iussa  praefecti  exequi. 

CHOUVS 

Quid  ft-ra  frustra  bella  movetis  ? 
invicta  gerit  tela  Cupido  ; 
flammis  vestros  obruet  ignes 
quibus  extinxit  fulmina  saepe 
captumque  lovem  caelo  traxit.  810 

laeso  tristes  dabitis  poenas 
sanguine  vestro.     non  est  paticns 
fervidus  irae  facilisque  regi  ; 
ille  ferocem  iussit  Achillem 
pulsare  lyram,  fregit  Danaos, 
fregit  Atridem,  regna  evertit 
Priami,  claras  diruit  urbes ; 
et  nunc  animus  quid  ferat  h or ret 
vis  immitis  violenta  dei. 

NERO 

0  lenta  nimium  militis  nostri  manus  820 
et  ira  patiens  post  nefas  tantum  mea, 

quod  non  cruor  civiiis  accensas  faces 

extinguit  in  nos,  caede  nee  populi  madet 

funerea  Roma  quae  viros  tales  tulit.  824  l 

at  ilia,  cui  me  civium  subicit  furor,  827 

suspecta  coniunx  et  soror  semper  niilii, 

tandem  dolori  spiritum  reddat  meo 

iramque  nostram  sanguine  extinguat  suo.  830 

admissa  sed  iam  morte  puniri  parum  est. 

graviora  meruit  impium  plebis  scelus  ; 

1  The  inverted  order  of  the  following  lines  is  that  oj  Richter. 
474 


OCTAVIA 

house  with  Haines  should  he  not  yield  to  the  people's 
wrath  his  new-made  bride,  not  yield  to  Claudia  the 
home  that  is  her  own.  That  he  himself  may  know 
of  the  citizens'  uprising,  with  my  own  lips  will  I 
hasten  to  perform  the  prefect's  bidding.  [Exit. 

CHORUS 

Why  do  you  stir  up  dire  strife  in  vain  ?  Invincible 
the  shafts  that  Cupid  bears ;  with  his  own  flames 
will  he  o'erwhelm  your  fires,  with  which  he  oft  has 
quenched  thunderbolts  and  dragged  Jove  as  his 
captive  from  the  sky.  To  the  offended  god  1  dire 
penalties  shall  you  pay  e'en  with  your  blood.  Not 
slow  to  wrath  is  the  glowing  boy,  nor  easy  to  be 
ruled ;  'twas  he  who  bade  the  fierce  Achilles  smite 
the  lyre,  broke  down  the  Greeks,  broke  down  Atrides, 
the  kingdoms  of  Priam  overthrew,  and  famed  cities 
utterly  destroyed  ;  and  now  my  mind  shudders  at 
the  thought  of  what  the  unchecked  power  of  the 
relentless  god  will  do. 

[Enler  NERO.] 

NERO 

Oh,  too  slow  are  my  soldiers'  hands,  and  too 
patient  my  wrath  after  such  sacrilege  as  this,  seeing 
that  the  blood  of  citizens  has  not  quenched  the  fires 
they  kindled  'gainst  me,  and  that  with  the  slaughter 
of  her  people  mourning  Rome  reeks  not,  who  bore 
such  men  as  these.  But  she  for  whose  sake  the 
citizens  rage  at  me,  my  sister-wife  whom  with  dis- 
trust I  ever  look  upon,  shall  give  her  life  at  last  to 
sate  my  grief,  and  quench  my  anger  with  her  blood. 
But  now  death  is  too  light  a  punishment  for  her 
deeds.  Heavier  doom  has  the  people's  unhallowed 

1  Cupid. 

475 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF    SENECA 

mox  tecta  flammis  conckiant  urbis  meis,  83  J 

ignes  ruinae  noxium  populum  premant 

turpisque  egestas,  saeva  cum  luctu  fames. 

exsultat  ingens  saeculi  nostri  bonis 

corrupta  turba  nee  capit  clementiam 

ingrata  nostram  ferre  ncc  pacem  potest, 

sed  inquieta  rapitur  hinc  audacia, 

hinc  temeritate  fertur  in  praeceps  sua. 

mails  domanda  est  et  gravi  semper  iugo 

premenda,  ne  quid  simile  temptare  audeat  840 

contraque  sanctos  coniugis  vultus  meae 

attollere  oculos  ;  fracta  per  poenas  metu 

par  ere  discet  principis  nutu  sui. 

Sed  adesse  cerno  rara  quern  pietas  virum 
fidesque  castris  nota  praeposuit  meis. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Populi  furorem  caede  paucorum,  diu 
qui  restiterunt  temere,  compressum  affcro. 

NERO 

Et  hoc  sat  est  ?     sic  miles  audisti  ducem  ? 
compescis  ?  haec  vindicta  debetur  mihi  ? 

PRAEFECTVS 

Cecidere  motus  impii  ferro  duces.  850 

NERO 

Quid  ilia  turba,  petere  quae  flammis  meos 
ausa  est  penates,  principi  legcm  dare, 
476 


OCTAV1A 

guilt  deserved.  Quickly  let  Rome's  roofs  fall  be- 
neath my  flames  ;  let  fires,  let  ruins  crush  the  guilty 
populace,  and  wretched  want,  and  grief  and  hunger 
dire.  The  huge  mob  grows  riotous,  distempered  by 
the  blessings  of  my  age,  nor  hath  it  understanding 
of  my  mercy  in  its  thanklessness  nor  can  it  suffer 
peace  ;  but  here  'tis  swept  along  by  restless  insolence 
and  there  by  its  own  recklessness  is  headlong  borne. 
By  suffering  must  it  be  held  in  check,  be  ever 
pressed  beneath  the  heavy  yoke,  that  it  may  never 
dare  the  like  again,  and  against  my  wife's  sacred 
countenance  lift  its  eyes ;  crushed  by  the  fear  of 
punishment,  it  shall  be  taught  to  obey  its  emperor's 
nod. 

84>1  But  here  I  see  the  man  whose  rare  loyalty  and 
proven  faith  have  made  him  captain  of  my  royal 
guards. 

[Enter  PREFECT.] 

PREFECT 

The  people's  rage  by  slaughter  of  some  few,  who 
recklessly  long  resisted,  is  put  down  :  such  is  my 
report. 

NERO 

And  is  this  enough  ?  Is't  thus  a  soldier  has  obeyed 
his  chief?  "Put  down,"  sayst  thou  ?  Is  this  the 
vengeance  due  to  me  ? 

PREFECT 

The  guilty  ring-leaders  of  the  mob  have  fallen  by 
the  sword. 

NERO 

But  the  mob  itself,  that  dared  to  attack  my  house- 
hold with  their  torches,  dictate  to  the  emperor,  from 

477 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF    SENECA 

abstrahere  nostris  coniugem  tan  tarn  toris, 
violare  quantum  licuit  incesta  manu 
et  voce  dira  ?  debita  poena  vacat  ? 

PRAEFECTVS 

Poenam  dolor  constituet  in  cives  tuos  ? 

NERO 
Constituet,  aetas  nulla  quam  f'amae  exiinat. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Quam  l  temperet  non  ira,  non  rioster  timor  ? 

NERO 
Iram  expiabit  prima  quae  meruit  meam. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Quam  poscat  ede,  nostra  ne  parcat  manus. 

NERO 
Caedem  sororis  poscit  et  dirum  caput. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Horrore  vinctum  trepidus  astrinxit  rigor 

NERO 
Parere  dubitas? 

PRAEFECTVS 

Cur  meam  damnas  fidem  ? 

NERO 
Quod  parcis  hosti. 

1  Reading  with  Schroeder.      Leo  tua  .  .  .  DOS. 
478 


OCTAVIA 

my  very  bed  to  drag  my  noble  wife,  to  ofler  her 
violence,  so  far  as  lay  in  their  power,  with  hands 
unclean  and  voices  insolent  ?  Are  they  still  without 
due  punishment  ? 

PREFECT 

Shall   angry  grief  determine  penalty   against  thy 
citizens  ? 

NERO 

It  shall  determine,  the  talc  of  which  no  age  shall 
banish  from  men's  lips. 

PREFECT 

Which  neither  wrath  nor   fear  of  us  can  hold  in 
check  ? 

NERO 

She  first  shall  appease  who  has  first  deserved  mv 
wrath. 

PREFECT 

Whom  it  demands  tell  thou,  that  mv  hand  may 

J  *• 

spare  not. 

NERO 

The  slaughter  of  my  sister  it  demands,  and   her 
hateful  head. 

PREFECT 
Fearful,  benumbing  horror  holds  me  fast. 

NERO 

Does  thy  obedience  falter? 

PREFECT 

Why  dost  condemn  my  faith  ? 

NERO 
Because  thou  spar'st  my  foe. 

479 


THE   TRAGEDIES    OF    SENECA 

PKAEFCCTVS 

Femina  hoc  nomen  capit  ? 

NERO 

Si  scelera  cepit. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Estne  qui  sontem  arguat  ? 

NERO 
Populi  furor. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Quis  regere  denientes  valet? 

NERO 

Qui  concitare  potuit. 

PRAEFECTVS 

Haud  quemquam  reor. 

NERO 

Mulier,  dedit  natura  cui  pronum  malo 
animum,  ad  nocendurn  pectus  instruxit  dolis. 


Sed  vim  negavit. 


PRAEFECTVS 


NERO 


Vt  ne  inexpugnabilis  870 

esset,  sed  aegras  frangeret  vires  timor 
vel  poena  ;  quae  iam  sera  damnatam  premet 
diu  nocentem. 

Tolle  consilium  ac  preces 
et  imperata  perage  :  devectam  rate 

480 


OCTAVIA 

PREFECT 

Call'st  thou  a  woman  foe  ? 

NERO 

If  crime  she  has  committed. 

PREFECT 

Who  charges  her  with  guilt  ? 

NERO 
The  people's  rage. 

PREFECT 

But  who  can  check  their  madness  ? 

NERO 
She  who  could  rouse  it. 

PREFECT 

Not  any  one,  I  think. 

NERO 

Woman,  to  whom  nature  has  given  a  mind  to  mis- 
chief prone,  and  equipped  her  heart  with  wiles  to 
work  us  ill. 

PREFECT 

But  strength  it  has  denied  her. 

NERO 

That  so  she  might  not  be  impregnable,  but  that 
fear  or  punishment  might  break  her  feeble  strength, 
a  punishment  which  now,  though  late,  shall  crush 
the  criminal,  who  has  too  long  been  guilty. 

873  But  have  done  with  advice  and  prayers,  and  do 
my  bidding  :  let  her  be  borne  by  ship  to  some  far 

481 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

procul  in  remotum  litus  interimi  iube, 
tandem  ut  residat  pectoris  nostri  timor. 

CHORVS 

O  funestus  multis  populi 
dirusque  favor,  qui  cum  flatu 
vela  secundo  ratis  implevit 
vexitque  procul,  languid  us  idem  88 

deserit  alto  saevoque  mari. 
flevit  Gracchos  miseranda  parens, 
perdidit  ingens  quos  plebis  amor 
nimiusque  favor  genere  illustres, 
pietate  fide  lingua  claros, 
pec  tore  fortes,  legibus  acres. 
te  quoque,  Livi,  simili  leto 
Fortuna  dedit,  quern  neque  fasces 
texere  suae  nee  tecta  domus. 
pi ura  referre  prohibet  praesens  890 

exempla  dolor,     modo  cui  patriam 
reddere  cives  aulam  et  fratris 
voluere  toros,  nunc  ad  poenam 
letumque  trahi  flentem  miseram 
cernere  possunt.     bene  paupertas 
humili  tecto  contenta  latet ; 
quatiunt  altas  saepe  procellae 
aut  evertit  Fortuna  domos. 

OCTAVIA 

Quo  me  trahitis  quodve  tyrannus 
aut  ex  ilium  regina  iubet,  900 

si  inihi  vitam  fracta  remittit 
tot  iam  nostris  et  victa  malis  ? 
sin  caede  mea  cumulare  })arat 
luctus  nostros,  invidet  etiam 

482 


OCTAVIA 

distant  shore    and    there  be    slain,  that  at  last  the 
terror  at  my  heart  may  be  at  rest.  [Exeunt. 

CHORUS 

Oh,  dire  and  deadly  to  many  has  the  people's 
favour  proved,  that  has  filled  their  vessels'  sails  with 
prosperous  breeze  and  borne  them  out  afar,  then, 
languishing,  has  failed  them  on  the  deep  and 
dangerous  sea.  The  wretched  mother 1  of  the 
Gracchi  wept  her  sons,  whom,  though  nobly  born, 
for  loyal  faith  and  eloquence  renowned,  though  brave 
in  heart,  keen  in  defence  of  law,  the  great  love  and 
excessive  favour  of  the  citizens  destroyed.  Thee 
also,  Livius,2  to  fate  like  theirs  did  fortune  give, 
whom  neither  his  lictors'  rods  nor  his  own  house 
protected.  But  present  grief  forbids  us  to  rehearse 
more  instances.  Her,  to  whom  but  now  the  citizens 
decreed  the  restoration  of  her  father's  house,  her 
brother's  bed,  now  may  they  see  dragged  out  in  tears 
and  misery  to  punishment  and  death.  Oh,  blessed 
poverty,  content  to  hide  beneath  a  lowly  roof,  while 
lofty  homes  the  storm-blasts  oft-times  shatter,  or 
fortune  overthrows. 

[E?iter  OCTAVIA  in  the  custody  of  the  palace  guards,  who 
are  dragging  her  roughly  away.] 

OCTAVIA 

Oh,  whither  do  ye  drag  me  ?  What  exile  does  the 
tyrant  or  his  queen  ordain,  if,  softened  and  o'ercome  by 
all  my  miseries,  she  grants  me  life  ?  But  if  by  death 
she  is  ready  to  crown  my  sufferings,  why,  cruel,  does 

1  Cornelia.  a  Livius  Drusus.     See  Index. 

483 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

cur  in  patria  milii  saeva  inori  ? 

sed  iam  spes  est  nulla  salutis — 

fratris  cerno  miseranda  ratem. 

hac  en  cuius  vecta  carina 

quondam  genetrix,,  mine  et  thalamis 

expulsa  soror  miseranda  vehar.  910 

nullum  Pietas  nunc  numen  habet 

nee  sunt  superi ;  regnat  mundo 

tristis  Erinys. 

quis  mea  digne  deflere  potest 

mala  ?  quae  lacrimis  nostris  questus 

reddat  aedon  ?     cuius  pennas 

utinam  miserae  mihi  fata  darent ! 

fugerem  luctus  sublata  meos 

penna  volucri  procul  et  coetus 

hominum  tristes  caedemque  feram  920 

sola  in  vacuo  nemore  et  tenui 

ramo  pendens  querulo  possem 

gutture  maestum  fundere  murmur. 

CHORVS 

Regitur  fatis  mortale  genus, 
nee  sibi  quisquam  spondere  potest 
firmum  et  stabilem  vitae  cursum  1 
per  quern  casus  volvit  varios 
semper  nobis  metuenda  dies, 
animum  firment  exempla  tuum_, 
iam  multa  domus  quae  vestra  tulit.  930 

quid  saevior  est  Fortuna  tibi  ? 

Tu  mihi  primum 
tot  natorum  memoranda  parens, 
nata  Agrippae,  nurus  Augusti, 

*  Reading  with  JRichter's  proposed  emendation.  Leo  with 
the  MSS.  reads  firmum  et  stabile  *  *  per  quae.  The 
lacuna  has  been  variously  filled  and  the  passage  variously 
emended. 

484 


OCTAVIA 

she  e'en  grudge  me  death  at  home  ?  But  now  is  no 
hope  of  safety — ah,  woe  is  me,  I  see  my  brother's 
ship.  And  lo,  on  that  vessel  on  which  his  mother 
once  was  borne,  now,  driven  from  his  chamber,  his 
wretched  sister,  too,  shall  sail  away.  Now  Piety  no 
longer  has  divinity,  nor  are  there  any  gods  ;  grim 
Fury  reigns  throughout  the  universe.  Who  -worthily 
can  lament  my  evil  plight  ?  What  nightingale  can 
match  my  tears  with  her  complaints  ?  Whose  wings 
would  that  the  fates  might  grant  to  wretched  me  ! 
Then  on  swift  pinions  borne,  would  I  leave  my 
grievous  troubles  far  behind,  the  dismal  haunts  of 
men,  and  cruel  slaughter.  There,  all  alone,  within 
some  solitary  wood,  perched  on  a  slender  bough, 
might  I  pour  forth  from  plaintive  throat  my  song 
of  woe. 

CHORUS 

Our  mortal  race  is  ruled  by  fate,  nor  may  any 
promise  to  himself  that  the  path  of  life  will  be  sure 
and  steadfast,  along  which  each  coming  day  with  its 
continual  fears  brings  ever-shifting  chances.  Comfort 
now  thy  heart  with  the  many  sufferings  which  thine 
own  house  has  borne.  In  what  has  fortune  been 
more  harsh  to  thee  ? 

932  And  thee  first  must  I  name,  the  mother  of  so 
many  sons,  Agrippa's  child,1  Augustus' 2  daughter- 

1  Agrippina,  (1)  daughter  of  M.  Vipsanius  Agrippa  and  of 
Julia,  d.  of  Augustus  ;  married  Germanicus,  sou  of  Tiberius 
Augustus,  and  bore  to  him  nine  sons. 

1  i.e.  Tiberius. 

485 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

Caesaris  uxor,  cuius  nonien 

clarum  toto  fulsit  in  orbe, 

ntero  totiens  cnixa  gravi 

pignora  pacis,  mox  exilium 

verbera,  saevas  passa  catenas, 

funera,  luctus,  tandem  letum 

cruciata  dm.     felix  thalamis 

Livia  Drusi  natisque  ferum 

ruit  in  facinus  poenamque  suam. 

lulia  matris  fate  secuta  est ; 

post  longa  temen  tempora  ferro 

caesa  est,  quamvis  crimine  nullo. 

quid  non  potuit  quondam  genetrix 

tua  quae  rexit  principis  aulam 

cara  marito  partuque  potens  ? 

eadem  famulo  subiecta  suo  950 

cecidit  diri  militis  ense. 

quid  cui  licuit  regnum  in  caelum 

sperare,  parens  tanta  Neronis  ? 

non  funesta  violate  manu 

remigis  ante, 

niox  et  ferro  lacerate  diu 

saevi  iacuit  victima  nati  ? 

OCTAVIA 

Me  quoque  tristes  mittit  ad  umbras 
ferus  et  manes  ecce  tyrannus. 
quid  iam  frustra  miseranda  moror  ?  9^0 

rapite  ad  letum  quis  ius  in  nos 
Fortuna  dedit.     testor  superos — 
quid  agis,  demens  ?  parce  precari 

1  i.e.  Germanicus. 

a  She  was  banished  by  Tiberius,  who  was  jealous  of  the 
people's  favour  toward  her,  to  the  island  of  Pandataria, 
where  she  died  three  years  afterward. 

486 


OCTAVIA 

in-law,  a  Caesar's1  wife,  whose  name  shone  bright 
throughout  the  world,  whose  teeming  womb  brought 
forth  so  many  hostages  of  peace ;  yet  thou  wast 
doomed  to  suffer  exile,  blows  and  galling  chains,  loss 
of  thy  friends,  and  bitter  grief,  and  at  last  a  death  of 
lingering  agony.2  And  Livia,3  blest  in  her  Drusus' 
chamber,  in  her  sons,  fell  into  brutal  crime — and 
punishment.  Julia  met  her  mother's  fate;  though 
after  long  delay,  yet  she  was  slain  by  the  sword, 
though  no  man  called  her  guilty.  What  power  once 
was  thy  mother's,4  who  ruled  the  palace  of  the  em- 
peror,5 dear  to  her  husband,  and  in  her  son  6  secure  ? 
Yet  she  was  made  subject  to  her  slave,7  and  fell 
beneath  a  brutal  soldier's  sword.  And  what  of  her 
who  might  have  hoped  for  the  very  throne  of  heaven, 
the  emperor's  great  mother  ?  Was  she  not  first  by 
a  murderous  boatman's  hand  abused,  then,  mangled 
by  the  sword,  lay  she  not  long  the  victim  of  her 
cruel  son? 

OCTAVIA 

Me  also  to  the  gloomy  shades  and  ghosio,  the 
cruel  tyrant,  see,  is  sending.  Why  do  I  now  make 
vain  and  pitiable  delay?  Hurry  me  on  to  death,  ye 
to  whose  power  fortune  hath  given  me.  Witness,  ye 
heavenly  gods-  -what  wouldst  thou,  fool  ?  Pray  not 

*  See.  Index.  4  Messaliua. 

8  Claudius.  6  Britannicus. 

7  The  freedman,  Narcissus. 

487 


THE   TRAGEDIES   OF   SENECA 

quibus  invisa  es  numina  divum. 

Tartara  tester 

Erebique  deas  scelerum  ultrices 

et  te,  genitor  l  dignum  tali 

morte  et  poena.     non  invisa  est 

mors  ista  inihi. 

armate  ratem,  date  vela  fretis  970 

ventisque  petat  puppis  rector 

Pandatariae  litora  terrae. 


CHORVS 

Lenes  aurae  zephyrique  leves, 
tectam  quondam  nube  aetheria 
qui  vexistis  raptam  saevae 
virgin  is  aris  Iphigeniam, 
hanc  quoque  tristi  procul  a  poena 
portate,  precor,  templa  ad  Triviae. 
urbe  est  nostra  mitior  Aulis 
et  Taurorum  barbara  tellus  :  980 

hospitis  illic  caede  litatur 
numen  superum  ; 
civis  gaudet  Roma  cruore. 

Leo  suggests  perde  tyrannum  between  genitor  and  dignuni. 


488 


OCTAVIA 

to  deities  who  scorn  thee.  Witness,  O  Tartarus,  ye 
goddesses  of  Erebus  who  punish  crime,  and  thou,  O 
father  :  destroy  the  tyrant,1  worthy  such  death  and 
punishment.  \To  her  guards.]  I  dread  not  the  death 
you  threaten.  Put  your  ship  in  readiness,  set  sail 
upon  the  deep,  and  let  your  pilot  speed  before  the 
winds  to  Pandataria's  shore. 

[Exit  OCTAVIA  with  her  guards.] 

CHORUS 

Ye  gentle  breezes  and  ye  zephyrs  mild,  that  once 
caught  Iphigenia  wrapped  in  an  airy  cloud,  and  bore 
her  from  the  altar  of  the  cruel  maid,2  this  maiden, 
too,  far  from  her  dire  punishment  bear  ye,  I  pray,  to 
the  shrine  of  Trivia.  More  merciful  than  Rome  is 
Aulis  and  the  Taurians'  barbarous  land  :  there  by  the 
blood  of  strangers  are  the  gods  appeased  ;  but  Rome's 
delight  is  in  her  children's  blood. 

1  Translating  Leo's  suggestion.  a  Diana. 


48P 


COMPARATIVE   ANALYSES 

OF  THE  TRAGEDIES  IN  THIS  VOLUME  AND 
THE  CORRESPONDING  GREEK  DRAMAS 


The  Phoenissae,  if,  indeed,  these  fragments  are  to  be 
considered  as  belonging  to  one  play,  has  no  direct  corre- 
spondent in  Greek  drama  ;  although,  in  the  general  situations 
and  in  some  details,  it  is  similar  to  parts  of  three  plays  : 
The  Seven  against  Thebes  of  Aeschylus,  the  Oedipus  at 
Colonus  of  Sophocles,  and  the  Phoenician  Damsels  of 
Euripides.  The  Thyestes  is  without  a  parallel  in  extant 
Greek  drama  ;  and  the  Octavia,  of  course,  stands  alone. 


COMPARATIVE   ANALYSES 

THE  GREEK  DRAMAS 

THE    AGAMEMNON   OF    AESCHYLUS 

Prologue. — A  watchman,  stationed  upon  the  palace  roof  at 
Argos,  laments  the  tedium  of  his  long  and  solitary  task  ; 
and  prays  for  the  time  to  come  when,  through  the  darkness 
of  the  night,  he  shall  see  the  distant  flashing  of  the  beacon 
fire,  and  by  this  sign  know  that  Troy  has  fallen  and  that 
Agamemnon  is  returning  home.  And  suddenly  he  sees  the 
gleam  for  which  he  has  been  waiting  so  long.  He  springs 
up  with  shouts  of  joy  and  hastens  to  tell  the  queen.  At 
the  same  time  he  makes  dark  reference  to  that  which  has 
been  going  on  within  the  palace,  and  which  must  now  be 
hushed  up. 

Parode,  or  chorus  entry. — A  chorus  of  twelve  Argive 
elders  rings  of  the  Trojan  war,  describing  the  omens  with 
which  the  Greeks  started  on  their  mission  of  vengeance. 
They  dwell  especially  upon  the  hard  fate  which  forced 
Agamemnon  to  sacrifice  his  daughter.  And  in  this  the}' 
unconsciously  voice  one  of  the  motives  which  led  to  the 
king's  own  death. 

First  episode. — Clytemnestra  appears  M'ith  a  statel}'  pro- 
cession of  torch -bearers,  having  set  the  whole  city  in  gala 
attire,  with  sacrificial  incense  burning  on  all  the  altars. 
The  chorus  asks  the  meaning  of  this.  Has  she  had  news 
from  Troy  ?  The  queen  replies  that  this  very  night  she 
has  had  news,  and  describes  at  length  how  the  signal 

492 


COM  PAR  ATI  VE   ANALYSES 


SENECA'S  TRAGEDIES 

THE    AGAMEMNON   OF    SENECA 

Prologue. — The  ghost  of  Thyestes  coming  from  the  lower 
pegions  recites  the  mntif  of  the  play  :  how  he  had  been  most 
foully  dealt  with  by  Agamemnon's  father,  Atreus,  and  how 
he  had  been  promised  revenge  by  the  oracle  of  Apollo 
through  his  son  Aegisthus,  begotten  of  an  incestuous  union 
with  his  daughter.  The  ghost  announces  that  the  time  for 
his  revenge  is  come  with  the  return  of  Agamemnon  from  the 
Trojan  war,  and  urges  Aegisthus  to  perform  his  fated  part. 


Parode,  or  chorus  entry. — The  chorus  of  Argive  women 
complains  of  the  uncertain  condition  of  exalted  fortune,  and 
recommends  the  golden  mean  in  preference  to  this. 


First  episode.  —  Clytemnestra,  conscious  of  guilt,  and 
fearing  that  her  returning  husband  will  severely  punish 
her  on  account  of  her  adulterous  life  with  Aegisthus,  resolves 
to  add  crime  to  crime  and  murder  Agamemnon  as  soon  as 
he  comes  back  to  his  home.  She  is  further  impelled  to  this 
action  by  his  conduct  in  the  matter  of  her  daughter, 

493 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

Second  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  sings  of  Helen  as 
the  bane  of  the  Trojans  : 

"  Dire  cause  of  strife  with  bloodshed  in  her  train." 

And  now 

"  The  penalty  of  foul  dishonour  done 
To  friendship's  board  and  Zeus  " 

has  been  paid  by  Troy,  which  is  likened  to  a  man  who 
fosters  a  lion's  cub,  which  is  harmless  while  still  young,  but 
when  full  grown  "  it  shows  the  nature  of  its  sires,"  and 
brings  destruction  to  the  house  that  sheltered  it. 

Third  episode. — Agamemnon  is  seen  approaching  in  his 
chariot,  followed  by  his  train  of  soldiers  and  captives.  The 
chorus  welcomes  him,  but  with  a  veiled  hint  that  all  is  not 
well  in  Argos.  Agamemnon  fittingly  thanks  the  gods  for  his 
success  and  for  his  safe  return,  and  promises  in  due  time  to 
investigate  affairs  at  home. 

Clytemnestra,  now  entering,  in  a  long  speech  of  fulsome 
welcome,  describes  the  grief  which  she  lias  endured  for  her 
lord's  long  absence  in  the  midst  of  perils,  and  protests  her 
own  absolute  faithfulness  to  him.  She  explains  the  absence 
of  Orestes  by  saying  that  she  has  entrusted  him  to  Strophius, 
king  of  Phocis,  to  be  cared  for  in  the  midst  of  the  troublous 
times.  She  concludes  with  the  ambiguous  prayer : 

"  Ah,  Zeus,  work  out  for  me 
All  that  I  pray  for  ;    let  it  be  thy  care 
To  look  to  that  thou  purposest  to  work." 

Agamemnon,  after  briefly  referring  to  Cassandra  and 
bespeaking  kindly  treatment  for  her,  goes  into  the  palace, 
accompanied  by  Clytemnestra. 

Third  choral  interlude. — The  chorus,  though  it  sees  with 
its  own  eyes  that  all  is  well  with  Agamemnon,  that  he  is 
returned  in  safety  to  his  own  home,  is  filled  with  sad 
forebodings  of  some  hovering  evil  which  it  cannot  dispel. 

Exode.  —  Clytemnestra  returns  and  bids  Cassandra,  who 
still  remains  standing  in  her  chariot,  to  join  the  other  slaves 
in  ministering  at  the  altar.  But  Cassandra  stands  motionless, 
paying  no  heed  to  the  words  of  the  queen,  who  leaves  the 
scene  saying  : 

"I  will  not  bear  the  shame  of  uttering  more." 

496 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 

Second  choral  interlude. — A  chorus  of  captive  Trojan 
women  sings  the  fate  and  fall  of  Troy  ;  while  Cassandra, 
seized  with  fits  of  prophetic  fury,  prophesies  the  doom  that 
hangs  over  Agamemnon. 


Third  episode. — Agamemnon  comes  upon  the  scene,  and, 
meeting  Cassandra,  is  warned  by  her  of  the  fate  that  hangs 
over  him  ;  but  she  is  not  believed. 


Third  choral  interlude. — Apropos  of  the  fall  of  Troy,  the 
chorus  of  Argive  women  sing  the  praises  of  Hercules,  whose 
arrows  had  been  required  by  fate  for  the  destruction  of  Troy. 

Exode. — Cassandra,  either  standing  where  she  can  see 
within  the  palace,  or  else  by  clairvoyant  power,  reports  the 
murder  of  Agamemnon,  which  is  being  done  within. 

Electra  urges  Orestes  to  flee  before  his  mother  and 
Aegisihus  shall  murder  him  also.  Very  opportunely, 
Strophius  comes  in  his  chariot,  just  returning  as  victor  from 

497 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

Cassandra  now  descends  from  her  chariot  and  bursts  into 
wild  and  woeful  lamentations.  By  her  peculiar  clairvoyant 
power  she  foresees  and  declares  to  the  chorus  the  death  of 
Agamemnon  at  the  hands  of  Clytemnestra  and  Aegisthus,  as 
well  as  the  manner  of  it  ;  she  also  foretells  the  vengeance 
which  Orestes  is  destined  to  work  upon  the  murderers.  Her 
own  fate  is  as  clearly  seen  and  announced,  as  she  passes 
through  the  door  into  the  palace. 

Soon  the  chorus  hears  the  death-cry  of  Agamemnon,  that 
he  is  "struck  down  with  deadly  stroke."  They  are  faint- 
heartedly and  with  a  multiplicity  of  counsel  discussing  what 
it  is  best  to  do,  when  Clytemnestra,  with  bloodstained 
garments  and  followed  by  a  guard  of  soldiers,  comes  out 
from  the  palace.  The  corpses  of  Agamemnon  and  Cassandra 
are  seen  through  the  door  within  the  palace.  The  queen 
confesses  to,  describes,  and  exults  in  the  murder  of  her 
husband.  The  chorus  makes  elaborate  lamentation  for 
Agamemnon,  and  prophesies  that  vengeance  will  light  on 
Clytemnestra.  But  she  scorns  their  threatening  prophecies. 
In  the  end  Aegisthus  enters,  avowing  that  he  has  plotted 
this  murder  and  has  at  last  avenged  his  father,  Thyestes. 
upon  the  father  of  Agamemnon,  Atreus,  who  had  so  foully 
wronged  Thyestes.  The  choi  us  curses  him  and  reminds  hitti 
that  Orestes  still  lives  and  will  surely  avenge  his  father. 


THE  MAIDENS  OF  TRACHIN  OF  SOPHOCLES 

Proloyue.—In  the  courtyard  of  her  palace  in  Trachin. 
Deianira  recounts  to  her  attendants  and  the  chorus  of 
Trachinian  maidens  how  her  husband  had  won  her  from  the 
river  god,  Acheloii?,  and  how,  during  all  these  years,  she 
has  lived  in  fear  and  longing  for  her  husband,  who  has  been 
kept  constantly  wandering  over  the  earth  by  those  who  hold 
him  in  their  power  ;  and  even  now  he  has  been  for  many 
months  absent,  she  knows  not  where. 

An  old  servant  proposes  that  she  send  her  son,  Hyllus, 
abroad  to  seek  out  his  father.  This  the  youth,  who  enters 
at  this  juncture,  readily  promises  to  do,  especially  on 

4-98 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 

the  Olympic  games.    Electra  entrusts  her  brother  to  his  care, 
and  betakes  her  own  self  to  the  altar  for  protection. 

Electra,  after  defying  and  denouncing  her  mother  and 
Aegisthus,  is  dragged  away  to  prison  and  torture,  and 
Cassandra  is  led  out  to  her  death. 


THE  HEKOULES  OETAEUS  OF  SENECA 

Prologue. — Hercules,  about  to  sacrifice  to  Cenaean  Jove 
after  having  conquered  Eurytus,  king  of  Oechalia,  recounts 
at  length  his  mighty  toils  on  earth,  and  prays  that  now  at 
last  he  may  be  given  his  proper  place  in  heaven.  He  dis- 
patches his  herald,  Lichas,  home  to  Trachin,  to  tell  the 
news  of  his  triumph,  and  to  conduct  the  train  of  captives 
thither. 


4-99 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

hearing  from  his  mother  that  the  oracle  declares  this  is  the 
year  in  which  his  father  shall  end  his  life, 

•J 

"  Or,  having  this  his  task  accomplished, 
Shall,  through  the  coming  years  of  all  his  life, 
Rejoice  and  prosper." 

Parode,  or  chorus  entry. — The  chorus  prays  to  Helios,  the 
bright  sun-god,  for  tidings  of  Hercules,  for  Deianira  longs 
for  him,  and  "ever  nurses  unforgetting  dread  as  to  her 
husband's  paths."  Hercules  is  tossed  upon  the  stormy  sea 
of  life,  now  up,  now  down,  but  ever  kept  from  death 
by  some  god's  hands.  Deianira  should,  therefore,  be 
comforted  : 

"For  who  hath  known  in  Zeus  forgetfulness 
Of  those  he  children  calls?" 

First  episode. — Deianira  confides  to  the  chorus  her  special 
cause  for  grief :  she  feels  a  strong  presentiment  that 
Hercules  is  dead  ;  for,  when  he  last  left  home,  he  left  a 
tablet,  as  it  were  a  will,  disposing  of  his  chattels  and  his 
lands, 

"and  fixed  a  time, 

That  when  for  one  whole  year  and  three  months  more 
He  from  his  land  was  absent,  then  'twas  his 
Or  in  that  self-same  hour  to  die,  or  else, 
Escaping  that  one  crisis,  thenceforth  live  with  life  unvexed." 

At  this  moment,  however,  a  messenger  enters  and 
announces  the  near  approach  of  Hercules,  accompanied  by 
his  spoils  of  victory. 


First  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  voices  its  exultant  joy 
over  this  glad  and  unexpected  news. 


500 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 


Parode,  or  cJiorus  entry. — The  place  of  the  chorus  entry, 
which  should  be  filled  by  the  chorus  proper,  composed  of 
Aetolian  maidens,  is  taken  by  the  band  of  captive  Oechalian 
maidens.  They  bewail  their  lot  and  long  for  death  ;  they 
dwell  upon  the  utter  desolation  of  their  fatherland,  and 
upon  the  hard-heartedness  of  Hercules,  who  has  laid  it 
waste. 

lole,  their  princess,  joins  in  their  lamentations,  recalls 
the  horrors  of  her  native  city's  overthrow,  and  looks 
forward  with  dread  to  her  captivity. 

First  episode. — During  the  interval  just  preceding  this 
episode  the  captives  have  been  led  to  Trachin  ;  Deianira  has 
seen  the  beauty  of  lole,  and  learned  of  Hercules'  infatuation 
for  her.  She  has  by  this  news  been  thrown  into  a  mad  rage 
of  jealousy,  and  takes  counsel  with  her  nurse  as  to  how  she 
may  wreak  vengeance  upon  her  faithless  husband,  while  the 
nurse  vainly  advises  moderation. 

The  nurse  at  last  suggests  recourse  to  magic,  professing 
herself  to  be  proficient  in  these  arts.  This  suggests  to 
Deianira  the  use  of  that  blood  of  Nessus  which  the  dying 
centaur  had  commended  to  her  as  an  infallible  love-charm. 
She  takes  occasion  to  relate  at  length  the  Nessus  incident. 
She  at  once  acts  upon  her  decision  to  use  the  charm  ;  and 
speedily,  with  the  nurse's  aid,  a  gorgeous  robe  is  anointed 
with  the  blood,  and  this  is  sent  by  Lichas'  hand  to 
Hercules. 

First  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  of  Aetolian  women, 
who  have  followed  Deianira  from  her  girlhood's  home  to  this 
refuge  in  Trachin,  now  tender  to  her  their  sympathy  in  her 
present  sufferings.  They  recall  all  their  past  intercourse 
with  her,  and  assure  her  of  their  undying  fidelity. 

This  suggests  the  rarity  of  such  fidelity,  especially  in  the 
courts  of  kings,  and  they  discourse  at  large  upon  the  sordid- 
ness  and  selfishness  of  courtiers  in  general.  The  moral  of 
their  discourse  is  that  men  should  not  aspire  to  great  wealth 
and  power,  but  should  choose  a  middle  course  in  life,  which 
alone  can  bring  happiness. 

50J 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

Second  episode. — Lichas,  the  personal  herald  of  Hercules, 
now  enters,  followed  by  lole  and  a  company  of  captive 
women.  He  explains  to  Deianira  how  Hercules  had  been 
driven  on  by  petty  persecutions  to  slay  Iphitus,  the  son 
of  Eurytus,  treacherously  ;  how  he  had  for  this  been  doomed 
by  Zeus  to  serve  Omphale,  queen  of  Lydia,  for  a  year ; 
and  how  in  revenge  he  has  now  slain  Eurytus,  and  even 
now  is  sending  home  these  Oechalian  captives  as  spoil  ; 
Hercules  himself  is  delaying  yet  a  little  while  in  Euboea, 
until  he  has  sacrificed  to  Cenaean  Jove. 

Deianira  looks  in  pity  upon  the  captives,  praying  that 
their  lot  may  never  come  to  her  or  hers ;  and  is  especially 
drawn  in  sympathy  to  one  beautiful  girl,  who,  howevor,  will 
answer  no  word  as  to  her  name  and  state. 

As  all  are  passing  into  the  palace,  the  messenger  detains 
Deianira  and  tells  her  the  real  truth  which  Lichas  has 
withheld:  that  this  seemingly  unknown  girl  is  lole,  daughter 
of  Eurytus  ;  that  it  was  not  in  revenge,  but  for  love  of 
lole,  that  Hercules  destroyed  her  father's  house,  and  that 
he  is  now  sending  her  to  his  own  home,  not  as  his  slave, 
but  as  his  mistress,  and  rival  of  his  wife. 

Lichas,  returning  from  the  palace,  on  being  challenged  by 
the  messenger  and  urged  by  Deianira  to  speak  the  whole 
truth,  tells  all  concerning  Hercules'  love  for  lole. 

Deianira  receives  this  revelation  with  seeming  equanimity 
and  acquiescence. 

Second  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  briefly  reverts  to  thy 
battle  of  Acheloiis  and  Hercules  for  the  hand  of  Deianira. 


Third  episode.—  Deianira  tells  to  the  chorus  the  story  of 
how  Nessus,  the  centaur,  had  once  insulted  her,  and  for 
this  had  been  slain  by  Hercules  with  one  of  his  poisoned 

.-)02 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 

Second  episode. — Deianira  comes  hurrying  distractedly  out 
of  the  palace,  and  relates  her  discovery  as  to  the  horrible 
and  deadly  power  of  the  charm  which  she  has  sent  to  her 
husband. 

While  she  is  still  speaking,  Hyllus  rushes  in  and  cries 
out  to  his  mother  to  flee  from  the  wrath  of  Hercules, 
whose  dreadful  sufferings,  after  putting  on  the  robe  which 
his  wife  had  sent  to  him,  the  youth  describes  at  length. 
He  narrates  also  the  death  of  Lichas.  The  suffering  hero 
is  even  now  on  his  way  by  sea  from  Euboea,  in  a  death-like 
swoon,  and  will  soon  arrive  at  Trachin. 

Deianira,  smitten  with  quick  repentance,  begs  Jupiter  to 
destro}'  her  with  his  wrathful  thunderbolts.  She  resolves  on 
instant  self-destruction,  though  H\  llus  and  the  nurse  vainly 
try  to  dissuade  her,  and  to  belittle  her  responsibility  for 
the  disaster  ;  and  in  the  end  she  rushes  from  the  scene, 
Hyllua  following. 


Second  choral  interlude. — The  chorus,  contemplating  the 
changing  fates  of  their  prince's  house,  is  reminded  of  the 
saying  of  Orpheus,  "that  naught  for  endless  life  is  made.'' 
This  leads  to  an  extended  description  of  Orpheus'  sweet 
music  and  its  power  over  all  things,  both  animate  and 
inanimate,  and  suggests  the  story  of  his  unsuccessful  attempt 
to  regain  Eurydioe. 

Returning  to  the  original  theme,  the  chorus  speculates 
upon  the  time  when  all  things  shall  fall  into  death,  and 
chaos  resume  her  primeval  sway. 

It  is  startled  out  of  these  thoughts  by  loud  groans, 
which  prove  to  be  the  outcries  of  Hercules,  borne  home 
to  Trachin. 

Third  (pisode.  —Hercules  in  his  ravings  warns  Jove  to 
look  well  to  his  heavens,  since  now  their  defender  is 
perishing.  The  giants  will  be  sure  to  rise  again  and  make 

503 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

arrows  ;  how,  also,  the  centaur  in  dying  had  given  her  a 
portion  of  his  blood,  saying  this  would  be  a  charm  able 
to  restore  to  her  her  husband's  wandering  love.  She  now 
resolves  to  use  this  charm.  She  anoints  a  gorgeous  robe 
with  the  blood  which  she  has  preserved  through  all  these 
years,  and  bids  Lichas  carry  this  to  her  lord  as  a  special 
gift  from  her.  He  is  to  wear  it  as  he  offers  his  sacrifices 
to  Cenaean  Jove.  Lichas  departs  upon  this  mission. 


504- 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 

another  attempt  upon  the  skies.  He  bitterly  laments  that 
he,  who  has  overcome  so  many  monsters,  must  die  at  last, 
slain  by  a  woman's  hand,  and  that  woman  not  Juno,  nor 
even  an  Amazon  : 

"  Ah,  woe  is  me, 

How  often  have  I  'scaped  a  gloiion.s  death  ! 
What  honour  comes  from  such  an  end  as  this  ?" 

His  burning  pains  coming  on  again,  he  cries  out  in  agony, 
and  describes  the  abject  misery  and  weakness  that  have 
come  upon  him.  Are  these  the  shoulders,  the  hands,  the 
feet,  that  were  once  so  strong  to  bear,  so  terrible  to  strike, 
so  swift  to  go?  He  strives  to  apprehend  and  tear  away 
the  pest  that  is  devouring  him,  but  it  is  too  deep-hidden 
in  his  frame.  He  curses  the  day  that  has  seen  him  weep, 
and  beseeches  Jove  to  smite  him  dead  with  a  thunderbolt. 

Alcmena  enters,  and  while  she  herself  is  full  of  grief, 
she  strives  to  soothe  and  comfort  her  suffering  son.  He 
falls  into  a  delirium,  and  thinks  that  he  is  in  the  heavens, 
looking  down  upon  Trachin.  But  soon  he  awakes,  and, 
realizing  his  pains  once  more,  calls  for  the  author  of  his 
misery,  that  he  may  slay  her  with  his  own  hands. 

Hyllus,  who  has  just  entered  from  the  palace,  now  informs 
his  father  that  Deianira  is  already  dead,  and  by  her  own 
hand  ;  that  it  was  not  her  fault,  moreover,  but  by  the 
guile  of  Nessus,  that  Hercules  is  being  done  to  death. 
The  hero  recognizes  in  this  the  fulfilment  of  an  oracle  once 
delivered  to  him  : 

"  By  the  hand  of  one  whom  thou  hast  slain,  some  day, 
Victorious  Hercules,  shalt  thou  lie  low." 

And  he  comforts  himself  with  the  reflection  that  nuch  an 
end  as  this  is  meet,  for 

"  Thus  shall  no  conqueror  of  Hercules 
Survive  to  tell  the  tale." 

He  now  bids  Philoctetes  prepare  a  mighty  pyre  on 
neighbouring  Mount  Oeta,  and  there  take  and  burn  his 
body  while  still  alive.  Hyllus  he  bids  to  take  the  captive 
princess,  lole,  to  wife.  He  calls  upon  his  mother,  Alcmena, 
to  comfort  her  grief  by  pride  in  her  great  son's  deeds  on 
earth,  and  the  noble  fame  which  he  has  gained  thereby. 

505 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

Third  choral  interlude.— The  chorus  prays   for  the  earl;. 
;ind  safe  return  of  Hercules  from  where  he  lingers  : 

"  Thence  may  he  come,  yea,  come  with  strong  desire, 

Tempered  by  suasive  spell 
Of  that  rich  unguent,  as  the  monster  spake." 


Fourth  episode. — Deianira  discovers  by  experiment,  now 
that  it  is  too  late,  the  destructive  and  terrible  power  of 
the  charm  which  she  has  sent,  and  is  filled  with  dire 
forebodings  as  to  the  result. 

Her  lamentations  are  interrupted  by  Hyllus,  who  comes 
hurrying  in ;  he  charges  his  mother  with  the  murder  of 
his  father,  and  curses  her.  He  then  describes  the  terrible 
sufferings  that  have  come  upon  the  hero  through  the  magic 
robe,  and  how  Hercules,  in  the  madness  of  pain,  has  slain 
Lichas,  as  the  immediate  cause  of  his  sufferings.  He  has 
brought  his  father  with  him  from  Euboea  to  Trachin. 
Deianira  withdraws  into  the  palace,  without  a  word,  in 
an  agony  of  grief. 

Fourth  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  recalls  the  old  oracle 
that  after  twelve  years  the  son  of  Zeus  should  gain  rest  from 
toil,  and  sees  in  his  impending  death  the  fulfilment  of  this 
oracle.  They  picture  the  grief  of  Deianira  over  her  act,  and 
foresee  the  great  changes  that  are  coming  upon  their  prince's 
house. 

Fifth  episode. — The  nurse  rushes  in  from  the  palace,  and 
tells  how  Deianira  has  slain  herself  with  the  sword,  bewail- 
ing the  while  the  sufferings  which  she  has  unwittingly 
brought  on  Hercules;  and  how  Hyllus  repents  him  of  his 
harshness  towards  his  mother,  realizing  that  she  was  not  to 
blame. 

Fifth  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  pours  out  its  grief  for 
the  double  tragedy.  And  now  it  sees  Hyllus  and  attendants 
bearing  in  the  dying  Hercules. 

Exode. — Hercules,  awaking  from  troubled  sleep,  laments 
the  calamity  that  has  befallen  him  ;  he  chides  the  lands 
which  h<i  has  helped,  that  now  they  do  not  hasten  to  his  aid  ; 
and  prays  Hyllus  to  kill  him  with  the  sword,  and  so  put  him 
out  of  his  misery. 

506 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 

Third  choral  interlude. — The  chorus  bids  all  nature  mourn 
the  death  of  Hercules.  Verily  the  earth  is  bereft  of  her 
defender,  and  there  is  no  one  left  to  whom  she  may  turn  if 
again  harassed  by  monsters.  They  speculate  upon  the  place 
of  the  departed  Hercules.  Shall  he  sit  in  judgment  among 
the  pious  kings  of  Crete  in  Hades,  or  shall  he  be  given  a 
place  in  heaven  ?  At  least  on  earth  he  shall  live  in  deathless 
gratitude  and  fame. 


Exode. —  Philoctetea  enters  and,  in  response  to  the 
ijuestions  of  the  nurse,  describes  the  final  scene  on  Oeta's  top. 
There  a  mighty  pyre  had  been  built,  on  which  Hercules  joy- 
fully took  his  place.  There  he  reclined,  gazing  at  the  heavens, 
and  praying  hia  father,  Jupiter,  to  take  him  thither,  in 

507 


THE  TRAGEDIES  OF  SENECA 

He  denounces  Deianira  because  she  has  brought  suffering 
aud  destruction  upon  him  which  no  foe,  man  or  beast,  has 
ever  been  able  to  bring.  He  curses  his  own  weakness,  and 
laments  that  he  must  weep  and  groan  like  a  woman. 

He  marvels  that  his  mighty  frame,  which  for  years  has 
withstood  so  many  monsters,  his  encounters  with  which  he 
describes,  can  now  be  so  weak  and  wasted.  Reverting  to  his 
wife,  he  bids  her  to  be  brought  to  him  that  he  may  visit 
punishment  upon  her. 

Hyllus  informs  his  father  that  Deianira  has  died  by  her 
own  hand,  for  grief  at  what  she  has  unwittingly  brought 
upon  her  dear  lord.  It  was,  indeed,  through  Nessus'  guile 
that  the  deed  was  done. 

Hercules,  on  hearing  this,  recognizes  the  fulfilment  of  the 
oracle : 

"  Long  since  it  was  revealed  of  my  sire 
That  I  should  die  by  hand  of  none  that  live, 
But  one  who,  dead,  had  dwelt  in  Hades  dark." 

He  exacts  an  oath  of  obedience  from  Hyllus,  and  then  bids 
him  take  him  to  Mount  Oeta,  and  there  place  him  upon  a 
pyre  for  burning.  Hyllus  reluctantly  consents  in  all  but  the 
actual  firing  of  the  pyre.  The  next  request  is  concerning 
lole,  that  Hyllus  should  take  her  as  his  wife.  This  mandate 
he  indignantly  refuses  to  obey,  but  finally  yields  assent. 
And  in  the  end  Hercules  is  borne  away  to  his  burning, 
while  the  chorus  mournfully  chants  its  concluding  comment : 

"  What  cometh  no  man  may  know  ; 
What  is,  is  piteous  for  us, 
Base  and  shameful  for  them 
And  for  him  who  emlureth  this  woe, 
Above  all  that  live  hard  to  bear." 


508 


COMPARATIVE  ANALYSES 

compensation  for  his  service  on  the  earth.  His  prayer  seemed 
to  be  answered,  and  he  cried  aloud  : 

"  '  But  lo,  my  father  calls  me  from  the  sky, 
And  opens  wide  the  gates.     0  sire,  I  come  1 ' 
And  as  he  spake  his  face  was  glorified." 

He  presented  his  famous  bow  and  arrows  to  Philoctetcs, 
bidding  him  for  this  prize  apply  the  torch  and  light  the  pyre, 
which  his  friend  most  reluctamtly  did.  The  hero  courted  the 
flames,  and  eagerly  pressed  into  the  very  heart  of  the  burn- 
ing mass. 

In  the  midst  of  this  narrative  Alcmena  enters,  bearing  in 
her  bosom  an  urn  containing  the  ashes  of  Hercules.  The 
burden  of  her  lament  is  that  so  small  a  compass  and  so 
pitiful  an  estate  have  come  to  the  mighty  body  of  her  son, 
which  one  small  urn  can  hold.  But  when  she  thinks  upon 
his  deeds,  her  thoughts  fly  to  the  opposite  pole  : 

"  What  sepulchre,  0  son,  what  tomb  for  thee 
Is  great  enough  ?     Naught  save  the  world  itself." 

Then  she  takes  up  in  quickened  measures  her  funeral  song 
of  mourning,  in  the  midst  of  which  the  deified  Hercules, 
taking  shape  in  the  air  above,  speaks  to  his  mother,  bidding 
her  no  longer  mourn,  for  he  has  at  last  gained  his  place  in 
heaven. 

The  chorus  strikes  a  fitting  final  note,  that  the  truly  brave 
are  not  destined  to  the  world  below  : 

"  But  when  life's  days  are  all  consumed, 
And  comes  the  final  hour,  for  them 
A  pathway  to  the  gods  is  spread 
By  glory." 


509 


INDEX 


INDEX 


[References  are  to  the  lines  of  the  Latin  text.  If  the  passage  Is  longer 
than  one  line,  only  the  first  line  is  cited.  Line  citations  to  passages  of 
especial  importance  to  the  subject  under  discussion  are  starred.  The 
names  of  the  characters  appearing  in  these  tragedies  are  printed  In  large 
capitals,  with  the  name  of  the  tragedy  in  which  the  character  occurs 
following  in  parentheses.] 


ABsrRTUS,  son  of  Aeetes  and 
brother  of  Medea.  Medea,  fleeing 
with  Jason  from  Colchis,  slew 
him  and  scattered  his  mangled 
remains  behind  her,  in  order  to 
retard  her  father's  pursuit,  Med. 
121,  125,  *131,  452,  473,  911  ;  his 
dismembered  ghost  appears  to 
Medea,  ibid.  963 

ABYLA,  see  CALPE 

AOASTUS,  son  of  Pelias,  king  of 
Thessaly  Demands  Jason  and 
Medea  from  Creon,  king  of  Cor- 
inth, to  punish  him  for  the 
murder  of  Pelias  through  Medea's 
machinations,  Med.  257,  415, 
521,  526 

ACHELOUS,  the  river-god.  Fought 
with  Hercules  for  the  possession 
of  Deianira,  changing  himself  into 
various  forms,  H,  Get.  *299  ; 
defeated  by  Hercules,  ibid.  *495 

ACHERON,  one  of  the  rivers  of 
Hades,  Thy.  17  ;  described  by 
Theseus,  H.  Fur.  715 

ACHILLES,  son  of  Peleus  and  Thetis, 
a  hero  in  the  Trojan  War.  Was 
connected  by  birth  with  heaven 
(Jupiter),  the  sea  (Thetis),  and 
the  lower  world  (Aeacus),  Tro. 
344 ;  educated  by  Chiron,  the 
centaur,  ibid.  832  ;  hidden  by  his 
mother  in  the  court  of  Lycomedes, 
king  of  Scyros,  in  a  girl's  dis- 
guise, in  order  to  keep  him  from 
the  war,  ibid.  213  ;  while  there, 
became  the  father  of  Pyrrhus  b> 


Deldamia,  the  king's  daughter, 
ibid.  342  ;  his  activit'es  early  in 
Trojan  War,  ibid.  182  ;  wounds 
and  cures  Telephus,  ibid.  *215  ; 
overthrows  Lyrnessus  and  Chry- 
sa,  taking  captive  Briseis  and 
Chryseis,  ibid.  220  ;  his  anger  on 
account  of  the  loss  of  Briseis, 
ibid.  194,  318  ;  example  of  the 
taming  power  of  love,  Oct.  814  ; 
slays  Memnon  and  trembles  at 
his  own  victory,  Tro.  *239  ;  slays 
Penthesilea,  the  Amazon,  ibid. 
243  ;  works  havoc  among  Trojans 
in  revenge  for  Patroclus'  death, 
Agam.  619  ;  slays  Hector  and 
drags  his  body  around  walls, 
Tro.  189  ;  is  slain  by  Paris,  ibid. 
347  ;  his  ghost  appears  to  Greeks 
on  eve  of  their  homeward  voyage, 
demanding  sacrifice  of  Polyxena 
upon  his  tomb,  ibid.  *170 

ACTAEON,  grandson  of  Cadmus,  who 
saw  Diana  bathing  near  Cithae- 
ron.  For  this  was  changed  by  the 
goddess  into  a  stag  which  was 
pursued  and  slain  by  his  own 
dogs,  Oed.  *751  ;  Phoen.  14 

ACTE,  the  mistress  of  Nero  who 
displaced  Poppaea,  Oct.  195 

ADMETUS,  see  ALCESTIS 

ADRASTUS,  king  of  Argos.  Received 
the  fugitive  Pqlynices,  gave  him 
his  daughter  in  marriage,  and 
headed  the  Seven  against  Thebes, 
in  order  to  seat  Polynices  upon 
throne,  Phoen.  374 

513 


INDEX 


ABACUS,  son  of  Jupiter  and  Eurqpa, 
father  of  Peleus ;  for  his  just 
rule  on  earth  was  made  a  judge 
in  Hades,  E.  Oet.  1558  ;  U.  Fur. 
734.  See  under  JUDGED  IN  HADES 

AEETES,  king  of  Colchis,  son  of 
Phoebus  and  Persa,  father  of 
Medea,  Med.  210  ;  grandeur,  ex- 
tent, and  situation  of  kingdom, 
ibid.  209  ;  its  wealth,  ibid.  483  ; 
had  a  wonderful  robe  as  proof 
that  Phoebus  was  his  father; 
this  Medea  anoints  with  magic 
poison  and  sends  to  Creusa,  ibid. 
670  ;  was  despoiled  of  realm 
through  theft  of  golden  fleece, 
ibid.  913 

AEGEUS,  see  THESEUS 

AEGISTHUS  (Agamemnon),  son  of 
incestuous  union  of  Thyestes  and 
his  daughter.  His  birth  the 
result  of  Apollo's  advice  to 
Thyestes,  Agam.  48,  294  ;  recog- 
nises that  the  fatal  day  is  come 
for  which  he  was  born,  ibid.  226  ; 
lived  In  guilty  union  with 
Clytemnestra,  wife  of  Agamem- 
non, ibid,  passim 

AEGOCEROS,  poetical  expression  for 
Capricornus,  constellation  of  the 
Goat,  Thy.  864 

AEGYPTUS,  see  DANAIDES 

AESCULAPIUS,  son  of  Apollo  and  the 
nymph  Coronis  ;  was  versed  in 
medicine,  was  deified,  and  wor- 
shipped at  Epidaurus,  Hip.  1022 

AETNA,  volcano   in   Sicily,   Phoen. 
314  ;  Its  fires,  Hip.  102 ;  H.  Oet. 
285  ;  seat  of  Vulcan's  forge,  H 
Fur.  106  ;  lay  upon  the  buried 
Titan's  breast,  Med.  410 

AGAMEMNON  (Troades,  Agamem- 
non), king  of  Mycenae,  son  of 
Atreus,  brother  of  Menelaiis, 
commander  of  the  Greeks  at  Troy. 
He  and  Menelaiis  used  by  Atreus 
to  entrap  Thyestes,  Thy.  325 ; 
tamed  by  love,  Oct.  815  ;  took 
captive  Chryseig,  Agam.  175 ; 
compelled  to  give  her  up,  he  took 
Bryseis  from  Achilles,  ibid.  186; 
attempts  to  dissuade  Pyrrhus 
from  the  sacrifice  of  Polyxena, 
Tro.  *203  ;  loved  Cassandra, 
Agam.  188,  255  ;  his  power 
magnified  ibid.  204  ;  his  home- 
ward voyage  and  wreck  of  his 

5U 


fleet,  ibid.  *421 ;  returns  to 
Mycenae,  ibid.  782  ;  his  murder 
described  by  Cassandra,  ibid. 
•867.  See  CASSANDRA,  CLYTEM- 
NESTRA, IPHIGENIA,  PYRRHUS 

AGAVE,  daughter  of  Cadmus  and 
Harmonia  mother  of  Pentheus, 
king  of  Thebes.  She  and  her 
Bisters,  In  Bacchic  frenzy,  slew 
Pentheus  on  Cithaeron,  and  bore 
his  head  to  Thebes,  Oed.  1006  ; 
Phoen.  15,  363  ;  her  shade  appears 
from  Hades,  Oed.  616.  See 
PENTHEUS 

AGRIPPINA  I,  daughter  of  M.  Vip- 
sanius  Agrippa  and  Julia,  daugh- 
ter of  Augustus,  mother  of 
Caligula.  Died  in  exile  at 
Pandataria,  Oct.  *932 

AGRIPPINA  II  (Octavia),  daughter 
of  the  preceding,  wife  of  Cn. 
Domitius  Ahenobarbus,  mother 
of  Nero.  Married  Claudius,  whom 
she  poisoned,  Oct.  26,  45,  165, 
340  ;  was  stepmother  of  Octavia, 
and  cause  or  all  her  woes,  ibid. 
22  ;  plotted  murder  of  Silanus, 
betrothed  lover  of  Octavia,  and 
forced  her  to  marry  Nero,  ibid. 
150 ;  sought  in  all  this  her  own 
power,  ibid.  155,  612 ;  was 
murdered  by  her  son,  Nero,  ibid. 
46,  95,  165  ;  her  murder  attribu- 
ted to  Poppaea's  influence,  ibid. 
126 ;  described  in  full  detail, 
ibid.  *310,  *600;  former  high 
estate  and  pitiable  death  con- 
trasted, ibid.  952 ;  her  ghost 
appears  to  curse  Nero,  ibid. 
*593 

AJAX,  son  of  Olleus,  called  simply 
Oileus  ;  his  death  described,  Med. 
660  ;  for  his  defiance  of  the  gods 
was  destroyed  by  Pallas  and 
Neptune  in  storm  which  wrecked 
the  Greek  fleet,  Agam.  *532 

AJAX,  son  of  Telamon,  crazed  with 
rage  because  the  armour  of 
Achilles  was  awarded  to  Ulysses, 
Agam.  210 

ALCKSTIS,  wife  of  Admetus,  king  of 
Pherae,  to  save  whose  life  she 
resigned  her  own,  Med.  662 

ALClDES,  see  HERCULES 

ALCMENA  (Hercules  Oetaeus),  wife 
of  Amphitryon,  a  Theban  prince, 
beloved  of  Jupiter,  mother  by 


INDEX 


him  of  Hercules,  H.  Fur.  22,  490, 
See  HERCULES 

ALCYONE,  see  CEYX 

ALTHAEA,  wife  of  Oeneus,  king  of 
Calydonia,  mother  of  Meleager. 
In  revenge  for  Meleager's  slaugh- 
ter of  her  two  brothers,  burned 
the  charmed  billet  on  which  her 
son's  life  depended,  and  so 
compassed  his  death,  Med.  779  ; 
unnatural  mother,  H.  Oet.  954 

AMALTHEA,  goat  of  Olenus,  fed  the 
infant  Jove,  was  set  as  constella- 
tion in  the  sky ;  not  yet  known  as 
such  in  the  golden  age,  Med.  313. 
See  OLENUS. 

AMAZONS,  warlike  women  on  Ther- 
modon,  Med.  215 ;  even  they 
have  loved,  Uip.  575  ;  conquered 
by  Bacchus,  Oed.  479  ;  Clytem- 
nestra  compared  to  them,  Agam. 
736;  allies  of  Troy,  Tro.  12; 
their  queen,  Penthesilea,  slain  by 
Achilles,  ibid.  243  ;  Hercules 
laments  that  he  had  not  been 
slain  by  the  Amazon,  Hippolyte, 
H.  Oet.  1183.  See  ANTIOPE, 
PENTHESILEA,  HIPPOLYTE 

AMPHlON,  son  of  Antiope  by 
Jupiter,  king  of  Thebes,  husband 
of  Niobes  renowned  for  his  music ; 
built  Thebes'  walls  by  the  magic 
of  his  lyre,  Phoen.  566  ;  H.  Fur 
262  ;  his  hounds  are  heard  baying 
at  the  time  of  the  plague  at 
Thebes,  Oed.  179 ;  his  shade 
arises  from  Hades,  ibid.  612 

AMPHITRYON  (Hercules  Furens)> 
Theban  prince,  husband  of  Her- 
cules' mother.  Alcmena,  H.  Fur. 
309 ;  proves  that  Jupiter  is  father 
of  Hercules,  ibid.  44U;  welcomes 
Hercules  returning  from  Hades, 
ibid.  618 

ANCAEUS,  Arcadian  hero,  Argonaut, 
slam  by  Calydonian  boar,  Med. 
643 

ANDROMACHE  (Troades),  wife  of 
Hector,  mother  of  Astyanax ; 
attempts  to  hide  and  save  her 
son  from  Ulysses,  Tro.  *430 ; 
given  by  lot  to  Pyrrhus,  ibid. 
976.  See  ASTYANAX 

ANTAEUS,  Libyan  giant,  son  of 
Neptune  and  Terra,  famous 
wrestler,  who  gained  new  strength 
by  being  thrown  to  mother  earth ; 


strangled  by  Hercules,  who  held 
him  aloft,  H.  Fur.  482,  1171  ; 
H.  Oet.  24,  1899  ;  Alcmena  fears 
that  a  son  of  his  may  come  to 
vex  the  earth,  H.  Oet.  1788  See 

TT  PR.OTTT  VS 

ANTIGONE  (Phoenissae),  daughter 
of  Oedipus  and  Jocasta  ;  refuses 
to  desert  Oedipus,  Phoen.  51 ; 
Oedipus  wonders  that  one  so  pure 
should  have  sprung  from  so  vile 
a  house,  ibid.  80 ;  argues  her 
father's  innocence,  ibid.  203 

ANTIOPB,  Amazon  wife  of  Theseus, 
slain  by  him,  Hip.  226,  927, 
1167  ;  mother  of  Hippolytus  by 
Theseus,  ibid.  398 ;  personal 
appearance,  ibid.  *398 ;  her 
beauty  inherited  by  Hippolytus, 
ibid.  659 

ANTONIUS  (Marc  Antony),  Roman 
general,  defeated  by  Octavianus 
at  Actium  ;  fled  with  Cleopatra 
to  Egypt,  Oct.  518 

APOLLO,  son  of  Jupiter  and  Latona, 
born  hi  Delos,  H.  Fur.  453 ; 
twin  brother  of  Diana,  Med.  87  ; 
the  laurel  his  sacred  tree,  Agam. 
588  ;  god  of  the  prophetic  tripod, 
Med.  86  ;  inspirer  of  priestess  at 
liis  oracle,  Oed.  269  ;  god  of  the 
bow,  is  himself  pierced  by 
Cupid's  arrows,  Hip.  192  ;  killed 
Python,  H.  Fur.  455 ;  doomed 
to  serve  a  mortal  for  killing  the 
Cyclopes,  kept  the  flocks  of 
Admetus,  ibid.  451  ;  Hip.  296  ; 
hymn  in  praise  of,  Agam.  310  ; 
worshipped  as  the  sun  under  the 
name  of  Phoebus  Apollo.  See 
PHOEBUS 

AQUARIUS,  zodiacal  constellation, 
the  Water-bearer,  Thy.  865 

ARABES,  inhabitants  of  Arabia, 
famed  for  their  spices,  Oed.  117  ; 
sun-worshippers,  H .  Oet.  793 ; 
use  poisoned  darts,  Med.  711 

ARCTOPHYLAX,  Bear-keeper,  a  nor- 
thern constellation,  called  also 
Bootes,  according  as  the  two 
adjacent  constellations  are  called 
the  Bears  (Arctos,  Ursae),  or  the 
Wagons  (Plaustra).  By  a  fusion 
of  the  two  conceptions,  is  called 
Arctophylax  and  custos  plaustri 
in  the  same  connection,  Thy. 
874.  See  BOOTES 

515 


INDEX 


ARCADIANS,  most  ancient  race  of 
men,  H.  Get.  1883  ;  Hip.  786 

ARCADIAN  BEARS,  constellations  of 
the  Great  and  Little  Bears,  which 
do  not  set,  H.  Fur.  129.  See 
ARCTOS,  BEARS,  and  CALLISTO 

ARCADIAN  BOAR,  captured  by  Her- 
cules and  brought  to  Eurystheu*, 
Agam.  832 ;  II.  Fur.  229  ;  11. 
Oet.  1536.  See  HERCULES 

ARCADIAN  STAG,  captured  by  Her- 
cules, H.  Fur.  222.  See  HERCULES 

4RCTOS,  the  double  constellation 
of  the  Great  and  Little  Bears, 
Oed.  507  ;  called  also  Arcadian 
stars,  ibid.  478  See  BEAKS  and 
CALLISTO 

ARQO,  ship  in  which  the  heroes 
under  Jason  sailed  to  Colchis  in 
quest  of  the  golden  fleece,  Mcd. 
361  ;  sailed  from  lolchos  in 
Thessaly,  Tro.  819  n.  •  adventure 
of  the  Argonauts,  ibid.  *301  ;  this 
voyage  was  impious,  ibid.  335  ; 
Tiphys  the  builder  and  pilot  of 
Argo,  ibid.  3,  318  ;  he  was  in- 
structed by  Minerva,  ibid.  3, 
365  ;  the  Argo's  keel  made  from 
the  talking  oak  of  Dodona,  ibid. 
349 ;  sailing  of  the  new  ship 
described,  ibid.  *318 ;  how  it 
escaped  the  Symplegades,  ibid. 
*341  ;  roll  of  the  Argonauts, 
ibid.  *227  ;  nearly  all  came  to  a 
violent  death,  ibid.  *607 

AROOS,  capital  of  Argolis,  sacred  to 
Juno,  home  of  heroes,  Agam. 
808  ;  paid  homage  to  Bacchus, 
after  he  had  won  Juno's  favour, 
Oed.  486 

ARIADNE,  daughter  of  Minos,  king 
of  Crete  ;  loved  Theseus,  whom 
she  helped  escape  from  the 
labyrinth,  Hip.  662;  fled  with 
Theseus,  but  was  deserted  by 
him  on  Naxos,  ibid.  665 ;  was 
there  found  and  beloved  by 
Bacchus,  Oed.  448,  who  married 
her  and  set  her  bridal  crown  as  a 
constellation  in  the  sky,  ibid. 
497 ;  H.  Fur.  18 ;  Hip.  663 ; 
pardoned  by  her  father  for  her 
love  of  Theseus,  ibid.  245 

ARIES,  golden-fleeced  ram  which 
bore  Phrixus  and  Helle,  and  was 
afterwards  set  in  the  sky  as  a 
zodiacal  constellation,  Thy.  850 

516 


ASTRAEA,  goddess  of  Justice,  who 
lived  among  men  in  the  golden 
age,  but  finally  left  earth  because 
of  man's  sins,  Oct.  424,  Thy.  857  ; 
is  the  zodiacal  constellation, 
Virpo,  H.  Oet.  69  ;  called,  incor- 
rectly and  perhaps  figuratively, 
mother  of  Somnus,  H.  Fur.  1068. 
See  JUSTICE 

ASTYANAX  (Troades),  son  of 
Hector  and  Andromache,  pic- 
tured as  leading  his  playmates  in 
a  dance  around  the  wooden  horse, 
Agam.  634  ;  compared  with  his 
father,  Tro.  464 ;  his  death 
demanded  by  the  Greeks,  ibid. 
369  ;  reasons  for  his  death  from 
the  Greek  standpoint,  ibid.  526  ; 
his  doom  announced  to  Andro- 
mache, ibid.  620,  who  tells  of 
her  disappointed  hopes  of  him. 
ibid.  *770  ;  his  death  described 
by  messenger,  ibid.  *1068 

ATLANTIADES,  see  PLEIADES 

ATLAS,     mountain    in    north-west 
Libya,  conceived  as  a  giant  upon 
whose    head    the    heavens    rest 
H.  Oet.   12,   1599  ;  eased  of  his 
burden  by  Hercules,  ibid.  1905 

ATREUS  (Thyestes),  son  of  Pelops, 
father  of  Agamemnon  and  Mene- 
laiis,  brother  of  Thyestes,  between 
whom  and  himself  existed  a 
deadly  feud.  Plans  how  he  will 
avenge  himself  upon  his  brother, 
Thy.  176  ;  describes  his  brother's 
sins  against  himself,  ibid.  220 ; 
his  revenge  takes  shape,  ibid. 
260  ;  place  and  scene  of  his 
murder  of  the  sons  of  Thyes- 
tes. ibid.  *650  ;  gloats  over  his 
brother's  agony,  ibid.  1057 

ATTIS.  Phrygian  shepherd,  mourned 
by  priests  of  Cybele,  Agam.  686 

AUQE,  Arcadian  maiden,  loved  by 
Hercules,  mother  by  Mm  of 
Telephus,  H.  Oet.  367 

AUGEAN  STABLES,  stables  of  Augeas, 
king  of  Elis,  containing  three 
thousand  head  of  cattle  and 
uncleansed  for  thirty  years  ; 
cleaned  by  Hercules  in  a  single 
day,  H.  Fur.  247 

AUGUSTUS,  first  emperor  of  Rome  ; 
his  rule  cited  by  Seneca  to  Nero 
as  a  model  of  strong  but  merciful 
away,  Oct.  *477  ;  his  bloody  path 


INDEX 


to    power    described    by    Nero, 
ibid.  *505  ;  deified  at  death,  ibid 
528 

AULIS,  seaport  of  Boeotia,  rendez- 
vous of  the  Greek  fleet.  Here  it 
was  stayed  by  adverse  winds, 
until  Iphigenia  was  sacrificed, 
Agam.  567  ;  Tro.  164  ;  hostility 
of  Aulis  to  all  ships  because  her 
king,  Tiphys,  had  met  death  on 
the  Argonautic  expedition,  Med. 
622.  See  IPHIGENIA 


B 


RACCHTTS,  son  of  Jupiter  and 
Semele,  daughter  of  Cadmus. 
Saved  from  the  womb  of  his 
mother.  Oed.  602  ;  Med.  84  ;  H. 
Fur.  457 ;  to  escape  the  wrath  of 
Juno,  he  was  hidden  in  Arabian 
(or  Indian)  Nysa,  where,  dis- 
guised as  a  girl,  he  was  nourished 
by  the  nymphs,  Oed.  *418  ;  in 
childhood  captured  by  Tyrian 
pirates,  who,  frightened  by 
marvellous  manifestations  of  di- 
vine power  on  board  their  ship, 
leaped  overboard  and  were 
changed  into  dolphins,  ibid.  *449  ; 
visited  India,  accompanied  by 
Theban  heroes,  ibid.  *113 ;  H. 
Fur.  903 ;  visited  Lydia  and 
sailed  on  the  Pactolus,  Oed. 
467  ;  conquered  the  Amazons  and 
many  other  savage  peoples,  ibid. 
469  ;  god  of  the  flowing  locks, 
crowned  with  ivy,  carrying  the 
thyrsus,  ibid.  403  :  H  Fur.  472  ; 
Hip.  *753  ;  marvellous  powers  of 
the  thyrsus,  Oed.  *491  ;  attended 
by  his  foster-father  Silenus,  ibid. 
429  ;  called  Bassareus,  Oed.  432  ; 
Bromius,  Hip.  760 ;  Ogygian 
lacchus,  Oed.  437 ;  Nyctelius, 
ibid.  492 ;  destroyed  Lycurgus, 
king  of  Thrace,  because  of  oppo- 
sition to  him,  H.  Fur.  903  ; 
inspired  his  maddened  worship- 
pers, the  women  of  Thebes,  to 
rend  Pentheus  in  pieces,  Oed. 
441,  483  ;  helped  Jupiter  in  war 
against  the  giants,  H.  Fur.  458 ; 
found  Ariadne  on  Naxos,  made 
her  his  wife,  and  set  her  bridal 
crown  in  the  sky,  Oed.  488,  497 


Hip.  760  ;  H  Fur.  18  ;  dithyram 
bic  chorus  in  his  praise,  giving* 
numerous  incidents  in  his  career, 
Oed.  **403  ;  won  the  favour  of 
Juno  and  the  homage  of  her  city 
of  Argos,  ibid.  486 ;  gamed  a 
place  in  heaven,  H.  Oet.  94.  See 
ARIADNE,  BASSARIDES.BROMIUS, 
NYCTELIUS,  OOYQES,  PENTHEUS, 
PROETIDES,  SEMELE,  SILENUS 

BASSARIDES,  female  worshippers  of 
Bacchus,  so  called  because  clad 
in  fox-skins.  Oed.  432 

BEARS,  the  northern  constellations 
of  the  Great  and  Little  Bears  ; 
were  forbidden  by  the  jealous 
Juno  to  bathe  in  the  ocean,  H. 
Oet.  281,  1585  ;  Thy.  477  ;  Med. 
405  ;  have  plunged  into  the  sea 
under  influence  of  magic,  ibid 
758  ;  shall  some  day,  by  reversal 
of  Nature's  laws,  plunge  beneath 
the  sea,  Thy.  867  ;  Great  Bear 
used  for  steering  ships  by  Greeks, 
Little  Bear  by  Phoenicians,  Med. 
694.  See  ARCADIAN  BEARS, 
ARCTOS,  CALLISTO 

BELIAS,  one  of  the  Belldes,  or 
granddaughters  of  Belus;  they 
were  also  called  Danaldes  from 
their  father,  Danatis,  H.  Oet.  960 

BELLONA,  goddess  of  war,  dwells 
in  hell,  H.  Oet.  1312 ;  haunts  the 
palaces  of  kings,  Agam.  82 

BOEOTIA,  named  from  the  heifer 
which  guided  Cadmus  to  the 
place  where  he  should  found  his 
city,  Oed.  722 

BOOTES,  northern  constellation  of 
the  Wagoner,  driving  his  wagons 
(plaustra),  under  which  form 
also  the  two  Bears  are  conceived, 
Oct.  233  ;  Agam.  70  ;  unable  to 
set  beneath  the  sea,  ibid.  69 ; 
not  yet  known  as  a  constellation 
in  the  golden  age,  Med.  315 

BRIAREUS,  one  of  the  giants  who 
stormed  heaven,  H.  Oet.  167 

BRISEIS,  a  captive  maiden,  beloved 
by  her  captor,  Achilles,  from 
whom  she  was  taken  by  Aga- 
memnon, Tro.  194,  220,  318 

BRITANNICUS,  son  of  the  emperor 
Claudius  and  Messalina,  brother 
of  Octavia,  and  stepbrother  of 
Nero,  by  whom,  at  the  instigation 
of  Agrippiua,  Nero's  mother,  he 

517 


INDEX 


was  murdered,  In  order  that  Nero 
might  undisputed  have  the  throne, 
Oct.  47,  67,  *166,  242,  269 

BROMIUS  (the  "  noisy  one  "),  epithet 
of  Bacchus,  Hip.  760 

BRUTUS,  friend  of  Julius  Caesar, 
leader  of  the  conspirators  against 
him,  Oct.  498 

BUSIRIS,  king  of  Egypt,  who  sacri- 
ficed strangers  and  was  slain 
by  Hercules,  Tro.  1106;  fl.  Fur. 
483  ;  H.  Oet.  26  ;  Alcmena  fears 
that  a  son  of  his  may  come  to 
vex  the  earth,  ibid.  1787 


CADMEYPES,  daughters  of  Cadmus, 
e.g.  Agave,  Autonoe,  Ino,  who 
tore  Pentheus  in  pieces,  H.  Fur. 
758 

CADMUS,  son  of  Agenor,  king  of 
Phoenicia.  Sent  by  his  father 
to  find  his  lost  sister,  Europa, 
he  wandered  over  the  earth,  at 
last  founding  a  land  of  his  own 
(Bpeotia),  guided  thither  by  a 
heifer  sent  by  Apollo.  Here  he 
kills  the  serpent  sacred  to  Mars, 
BOWS  its  teeth,  and  from  them 
armed  men  spring  up,  Oed. 
**712 ;  H.  Fur.  261,  917  ; 
Phoen.  125  ;  was  changed  to  a 
serpent,  H.  Fur.  392  ;  his  house 
was  accursed,  Phoen.  644 

CAESAR,  Julius,  a  mighty  general, 
slain  by  his  fellow-citizens,  Oct. 
500 

CALCHAS  (Troades),  seer  of  the 
Greeks  before  Troy  ;  his  prophetic 
power,  Tro.  *353  ;  decides  that 
Polyxena  must  be  sacrificed, 
ibid.  360 

CALLISTO,  nymph  of  Arcadia,  be- 
loved of  Jove,  changed  into  a 
bear  by  Juno,  and  set  in  the 
heavens  by  Jove  as  the  Great 
Bear,  while  her  son  Areas  was 
made  the  Little  Bear,  fl.  Fur. 
6  ;  is  the  constellation  by  which 
Greek  sailors  guided  their  ships, 
ibid.  7  ;  called  the  frozen  Bear, 
ibid.  1139.  See  JUPITER,  ARCTOS, 
BEAKS 

CALPE,  one  side  of  the  passage 
rent  by  Hercules.  One  of  the 

518 


"  pillars  of  Hercules,"  Gibraltar, 
the  opposite  mass  in  Africa  being 
called  Abyla,  H.  Fur.  237  ;  fl. 
Oet.  1240,  1253,  1569 

CANCER,  zodiacal  constellation  of 
the  Crab,  in  which  the  sun  is 
found  at  the  summer  solstice, 
Thy.  854  ;  Hip.  287  ;  fl.  Oet. 
41,  67,  1219,  1573 

CAPHEREUS,  cliff  of  Euboea,  where 
Nauplius  lured  the  Greek  fleet 
to  destruction,  Agam  560.  See 
NAUPLIUS 

CAPNOMANTIA,  method  of  divining 
by  observation  of  the  smoke  of 
sacrifice,  Oed.  *325 

CASSANDRA  (Agamemnon),  be- 
loved by  Apollo,  but,  since  she  was 
false  to  him,  the  gift  of  prophecy 
was  made  of  no  avail  by  his  decree 
that  she  should  never  be  believed, 
Tro.  34  ;  Agam.  255,  588  ;  given 
by  lot  to  Agamemnon,  Tro.  978  ; 
in  prophetic  frenzy  describes  the 
murder  of  Agamemnon,  Agam. 
*720 ;  is  led  to  death,  predicting 
death  of  Clytemnestra  and  Aegis- 
thus,  ibid.  1004 

CASTOR,  one  of  the  twin  sons  of 
Jupiter  and  Leda,  wife  of  Tyn- 
dareus,  king  of  Sparta  ;  his 
brother  was  Pollux,  Phoen.  128  ; 
Castor  rode  the  famous  horse. 
Cyllarus,  given  by  Juno,  Hip. 
810  ;  the  twins  were  Argonauts, 
Med.  230 ;  called  Tyndaridae, 
fl.  Fur.  14  ;  Castor  a  horseman, 
Pollux  a  boxer,  Med.  89 ;  the 
two  were  set  as  constellations  in 
the  sky  to  the  grief  of  Juno,  Oct. 
208  ;  Thy.  628 

CAUCASUS,  mountain  range  between 
the  Black  and  Caspian  Seas, 
Thy.  1048  ;  here  Prometheus  was 
chained,  fl.  Oet.  1378 ;  Med. 
709.  See  PROMETHEUS 

CECROPS,  mythical  founder  and 
first  king  of  Athens  ;  the  Athe- 
nians called  Cecropians,  Med.  76  ; 
Thy.  1049 

CENAEUM,  north-west  promontory 
of  Euboea  ;  here  Hercules  sacri- 
ficed to  Cenaean  Jove  after  his 
victory  over  Eurytus,  fl  Oet. 
102 ;  while  sacrificing  here, 
Hercules  donned  the  poisoned 
robe  sent  by  Deianira,  ibid.  782 


INDEX 


CENTAURS,  race  in  Thessaly,  half 
man,  half  horse,  H.  Oet.  1049, 
1195,  1925;  their  fight  with 
Lapithae.  H.  Fur.  778 ;  the 
centaur  Nessus  killed  by  Her- 
cules, H.  Oet.  *503.  See  CHIRON, 

N ESSUS 

CERUERUS,  three-headed  dog,  guar- 
dian of  Hades,  Thy.  16  ;  H.  Oet. 
2;i ;  H.  Fur.  1107  ;  his  existence 
denied,  Tro.  404  ;  said  to  have 
broken  out  of  Hades  and  to  be 
abroad  in  the  Theban  land,  Oed. 
171  ;  his  clanking  chains  heard 
on  earth,  ibid.  581  ;  Hercules 
brought  him  to  the  upper  world, 
H.  Oet.  1245  ;  Agam.  859  ;  H. 
Fur.  *50,  547  ;  Theseus  describes 
him  and  tells  how  he  was  brought 
to  the  upper  world  by  Hercules, 
ibid.  *760 ;  his  actions  in  the 
light  of  day,  ibid.  *813  See 
HERCULES 

CERES,  daughter  of  Saturn,  sister 
of  Jupiter,  mother  of  Proserpina, 
and  goddess  of  agriculture  ;  her 
vain  and  anxious  search  for  her 
daughter,  H.  Fur.  659  ;  taught 
Triptolemus  the  science  of  agri- 
culture, Hip.  838  ;  mystic  rites 
of  her  worship.  H.  Fur.  300,  845. 
Her  name  used  by  metonymy 
for  grain.  See  ELEUSIN,  PROSER- 
PINA, TRIPTOLEMUS 

CEYX,  king  of  Trachin,  suffered 
death  by  shipwreck.  His  wife, 
Alcyone,  mourned  him  incessant- 
ly ;  finally  both  were  changed 
into  kingfishers,  H.  Oet.  197  ; 
Agam.  681  ;  Oct.  7 

CHAONIAN  OAKS,  sacred  grove  in 
Chaonia  of  Epirus  containing  a 
temple  and  oracle  of  Jupiter,  said 
to  be  oldest  oracle  in  Greece  ; 
oracles  supposed  to  be  given 
out  by  the  oaks  themselves, 
endowed  with  speech,  or  by  the 
doves  which  resorted  there. 
"  Chaonian  trees  "  used  for  tall 
trees  in  general,  Oed.  728  ;  the 
"  talking  oak  "  of  Chaonia,  H . 
Oet.  1623.  See  DODONA 

CHARON,  aged  ferryman  of  the 
Styx,  E.  Fur.  555;  Agam.  752; 
his  personal  appearance,  ibid. 
*764  ;  forced  by  Hercules  to  bear 
him  across  the  Lethe  (not  Styx), 


ibid.      *770 ;      overwearied      by 
transporting  throngs  of  Theban 
dead,    Oed.    166  ;    charmed    by 
-music  of  Orpheus,  H.  Oet.  1072 

CHARYBDIS,  whirlpool  between 
Italy  and  Sicily,  opposite  Scylla, 
Med.  408 ;  H.  Oet.  235 ;  Thy. 
581.  See  SCYLLA 

CHIMAERA,  monster  combining  lion, 
dragon,  and  goat,  vomited  forth 
fire,  Med.  828 

CHIRON,  centaur  dwelling  In  a 
cavern  on  Pelion,  famous  for  his 
knowledge  of  medicine  and 
divination.  To  his  training 
were  entrusted  Jason,  Hercules, 
Aesculapius,  and  Achilles,  H.  Fur. 
971 ;  Tro.  832  ;  set  in  the  sky 
as  zodincal  constellation  of 
Sagittarius,  Thy.  860 

CHRYSEIS,  daughter  of  Chryses, 
priest  of  Apollo  at  Chrysa. 
Taken  captive,  she  fell  to  the  lot 
of  Agamemnon,  who,  forced  to 
give  her  up,  claimed  Briseis 
captive  maid  of  Achilles.  Hence 
arose  strife  between  the  two, 
Tro.  223.  See  ACHILLES 

CIRRHA,  ancient  town  In  Phocis, 
near  Delphi,  Oed.  269  ;  H.  Oet. 
92,  1475 

CITHAERON,  mountain  near  Thebes 
where  the  infant  Oedipus  was 
exposed,  Phoen.  13  ;  the  scene  of 
many  wild  and  tragic  deeds,  see 
AOTAEON,  AGAVE,  DIRGE,  PEN- 

THEUS 

CLAUDIUS,  fourth  Roman  emperor, 
father  of  Octavia,  murdered  by 
his  second  wife,  Agrippina,  Oct. 
26,  45,  269. 

CLOTHO,  one  of  the  three  fates  or 
Parcae,  supposed  to  hold  the 
distaff  and  spin  the  thread  of  life, 
H.  Oet.  768  ;  Oct.  16  ;  Thy.  617 

CLYTEMNESTRA  (Agamemnon), 
daughter  of  Tyndareus  and  Leda, 
sister  of  Helen,  wife  of  Agamem- 
non, mother  of  Orestes,  Iphigenia, 
and  Electra  ;  called  Tyndaris, 
Agam.  897  During  uer  husband's 
absence  engaged  in  conspiracy 
with  Aegisthus  to  murder  Aga- 
memnon. Deliberates  whether  to 
give  up  her  course  of  crime  or 
carry  it  through,  ibid.  108  ;  tests 
Aegisthus'  courage  and  deter- 

519 


INDEX 


mlnation,  ibid.  239  ;  her  murder 
of  Agamemnon  prophesied  and 
described  by  Cassandra,  *734.  See 
AGAMEMNON  and  AEGISTHUS 

OOCYTUS,  "the  river  of  lamen- 
tation," river  of  Hades,  H.  Oct. 
1963  ;  "  sluggish,  vile,"  H.  Fur. 
686  ;  the  river  over  which  spirits 
cross  to  the  land  of  the  dead, 
ibid.  870 

COLCHIAN  BULL,  fire-breathing  mon- 
ster which  Jason  was  set  to 
yoke  to  the  plough  ;  Medea  claims 
to  have  preserved  some  of  his 
breath  for  her  magic  uses,  Med.  829 

COLCHIAN  WOMAN,  see  MEDEA 

:REON  (Medea),  king  of  Corinth, 
to  whose  court  Jason  and  Medea 
fled  when  driven  out  of  Thessaly  ; 
father  of  Creiisa,  for  whom  he 
selected  Jason  as  husband,  de- 
creeing banishment  of  Medea  ; 
headstrong  and  arbitrary,  Med. 
143  ;  allows  Medea  one  day  of 
respite  from  exile,  ibid.  *190 ; 
called  son  of  Sisyphus,  ibid.  512  ; 
his  death  and  that  of  his  daughter, 
ibid.  *879 

CREON  (Oedipus),  Theban  prince, 
brother  of  Jocasta.  Oed.  210 ; 
sent  by  Oedipus  to  consult  oracle, 
reports  that  cause  of  plague  is 
unavenged  murder  of  Lalus, 
ibid.  *210 ;  announces  that 
Oedipus  himself  is  guilty  of  the 
murder.  Is  thrown  into  prison 
by  Oedipus  on  charge  of  conspi- 
racy with  Tiresias,  ibid.  *509 ; 
slain  by  the  usurper,  Lycus,  fl. 
Fur.  254 

CRETAN  BULL,  laid  waste  the  island 
of  Crete ;  caught  and  taken  to 
Eurystheus  by  Hercules,  H.  Fur. 
230  ;  Agam.  833.  See  HERCULES 

CEF.OSA  (Medea),  daughter  of 
Creon,  king  of  Corinth  ;  Creon 
chose  Jason  as  her  husband, 
Med.  105  :  Jason's  wife,  Medea, 
swears  that  Creiisa  shall  not  bear 
brothers  to  her  children,  ibid. 
509 ;  Jason  charged  by  Medea 
with  love  for  Creiisa,  ibid.  495  ; 
Medea  prepares  a  magic  robe  as 
present  for  Creiisa,  ibid.  *816 ; 
Creiisa's  death,  ibid.  879 

CRISPINUS,  Roman  knight,  the 
husband  of  Poppaea,  Oct.  731 

520 


CUPID,  god  of  love,  son  of  Veuus ; 
addressed  and  characterised  by 
Deianira,  H.  Oet.  *541 ;  all-power- 
ful over  gods  and  men,  Uip. 
*185  ;  his  wide  sway  and  instances 
of  his  irresistible  power,  ibid. 
**275 ;  his  power,  Oct.  806 ; 
there  is  no  such  god,  ibid.  **557  ; 
Hip.  **275 

CYBELE,  goddess  worshipped  In 
Phrygian  groves,  Hip.  1135 ; 
pines  of  Ida  sacred  to  her, 
Tro.  72  ;  wears  a  turreted  crown, 
her  worship  described,  Agam. 
686 

CYCLOPES,  race  of  giants  in  Sicily, 
each  having  but  one  eye  ;  said  to 
have  built  walls  of  Mycenae, 
U.  Fur.  997  ;  Thy.  407  ;  Poly- 
phemus, a  Cyclop,  sits  on  a  crag 
of  Aetna,  ibid.  582 

CYCNUS,  son  of  Mars,  slain  by 
Hercules,  H.  Fur.  485 

CYCNUS,  son  of  Neptune,  slain  by 
Achilles  and  changed  into  a 
swan,  Agam.  215  ;  Tro.  184 

CYLLARUS,  famous  horse  which 
Jtmo  received  from  Neptune  and 
presented  to  Castor,  Hip.  811 

CYNOSURA,  constellation  of  the 
Lesser  Bear,  Thy.  872 


D 


DAEDALUS,  Athenian  architect,  the 
father  of  Icarus.  Helped  Pasi- 
phae,  wife  of  Minos,  to  accom- 
plish her  unnatural  desires,  Hip. 
120 ;  built  the  labyrinth  for 
Minotaur,  ibid.  122,  1171  ;  his 
escape  from  Crete  on  wings,  Oed. 
*822  ;  safe  because  he  pursued  a 
middle  course,  H.  Oet.  683 

DAMOCLES,  a  courtier  of  Dionysius, 
tyrant  of  Syracuse,  who  showed 
his  guest  a  sword  hanging  by  a 
hair  over  his  head  as  he  lay  at 
banquet,  H.  Oet.  656 

DANAE,  daughter  of  Acrisius, 
mother  of  Perseus  by  Jupiter, 
who  approached  her  in  a  golden 
shower,  Oct.  207,  772.  See 
PERSEUS 

DANAIDES,  fifty  daughters  of  Dan- 
aiis.  brother  of  Aegyptus.  They, 
being  forced  to  marry  the  fifty 


INDEX 


sons  of  Aegyptus,  slew  their 
husbands  on  their  wedding  night, 
with  the  exception  of  Hyper- 
mnestra,  H.  Fur.  498  ;  their 
punishment  in  Hades  the  task  of 
filling  a  bottomless  cistern  with 
water  carried  in  sieves,  ibid.  757  ; 
Medea  summons  these  to  her 
aid,  Med.  749 ;  Deianira  would 
fill  the  vacant  place  in  their 
number,  H.  Oct.  948  ;  called  also 
Belides,  ibid.  960.  See  BELIAS, 
HYPERMNESTRA 

DARDANUS,  son  of  Jupiter  and 
Electra,  one  of  the  royal  house 
of  Troy.  Exults  in  Hades  over 
the  impending  doom  of  Aga- 
memnon, enemy  of  his  house, 
Agam.  773 

DAULIAN  BIRD,  i.e.  Procne,  changed 
into  a  nightingale  after  the 
tragedy  connected  with  her 
name,  enacted  at  Daulis,  a  city 
of  Phocis.  She  mourns  continu- 
ally for  Itys,  H.  Oet.  192.  See 
PHILOMELA  and  ITYS 

DEIANIRA  (Hercules  Oetaeug). 
daughter  of  Oeneus.  king  of 
Calydonia,  sister  of  Meleager,  wife 
of  Hercules,  mother  of  Hyllus, 
plays  with  her  maidens  on  banks 
of  Acheloiis,  H.  Oet.  586  ;  her 
abduction  by  Nessus,  ibid.  *500  : 
her  rage  when  she  hears  01 
Hercules'  Infatuation  for  lole, 
ibid.  237  ;  ignorant  of  its  power, 
prepares  to  send  the  charmed 
robe  to  Hercules,  ibid.  *535 ; 
gives  it  to  Lichas,  ibid.  569 ; 
discovers  its  power,  ibid.  *716  ; 
learns  from  Hyllus  effect  of 
poison  on  Hercules,  ibid.  *742  ; 
prays  for  death,  ibid.  842 ;  begs 
Hyllus  to  slay  her,  ibid.  984 ; 
goes  mad,  ibid.  1002 ;  dies  by 
her  own  hand,  ibid.  1420 

DElDAMlA,  daughter  of  Lycomedes. 
king  of  Scyros,  mother  of 
Pyrrhus  by  Achilles,  Tro.  342 

DEIPHOBUS,  son  of  Priam  and 
Hecuba,  husband  of  Helen  after 
death  of  Paris  ;  slain  and  mangled 
by  the  Greeks  through  wife's 
treachery,  Agam.  749 

DELOS,  floating  island  in  Aegean 
Sea,  birthplace  of  Apollo  and 
Diana,  H.  Fur  453 ;  made  firm 


at  command  of  Diana,  Agam. 
384 

DELPHIO  ORACLEJ  of  Apollo  at 
Delphi  in  Phocis  ;  expressed  in 
enigmatic  form,  Oed.  214 ;  the 
giving  out  of  an  oracle  described, 
ibid.  *225  ;  H.  Oet.  1475 

DEUCALION,  son  of  Prometheus, 
husband  of  Pyrrha  ;  this  pair 
the  only  survivors  of  the  flood, 
Tro.  1039.  See  PYRRHA 

DIANA,  daughter  of  Jupiter  and 
Latona,  twin  sister  of  Apollo,  H. 
Fur.  905  ;  hymn  to,  Agam.  *367  ; 
caused  Delos  to  stand  firm,  ibid. 
369  ;  punished  Niobe  for  impiety, 
ibid.  375  ;  conceived  as  Luna  or 
Phoebe  in  heaven,  Diana  on 
earth,  and  Hecate  in  Hades,  Hip. 
412 ;  called  Trivia,  worshipped 
where  three  ways  meet,  Agam. 
367 ;  Hippolytus  prays  to  her  as 
goddess  of  the  chase,  Hip.  54; 
her  wide  sway,  ibid.  *54  ;  nurse 
of  Phaedra  prays  that  she  may 
turn  Hippolytus  to  love,  ibid. 
406  ;  in  form  of  Luna,  an  object 
of  attack  by  Thessalian  witch- 
craft, ibid.  421  ;  slighted  by 
Oeneus,  she  sent  a  huge  boar  to 
ravage  the  country.  Hence 
Pleuron  is  hostile  to  her,  Tro. 
827 

DICTYNNA,  "  goddess  of  the  nets," 
epithet  of  Diana,  Med.  795 

DIOMEDES,  king  of  the  Bistones,  in 
Thrace,  who  gave  his  captives  to 
his  man-eating  horses  to  devour, 
H.  Oet.  1538;  Tro.  1108;  Her- 
cules captured  his  horses,  having 
given  their  master  to  them  to 
devour,  Agam.  842  ;  H.  Fur.  226, 
1170  ;  H.  Oet.  20;  Alcmena  fears 
that  she  may  be  given  to  these 
horses  now  that  Hercules  is  dead, 
H.  Oet.  1790.  See  HEROULBS 

DIRCE,  wife  of  Lycus,  king  of 
Thebes,  who,  on  account  of  her 
cruelty  to  Antiope,  was  tied  by 
her  sons,  Zethus  and  Amphion, 
by  the  hair  to  a  wild  bull,  and  so 
dragged  to  death  on  Cithaeron, 
Phoen.  19 ;  changed  to  the 
fountain  Dirce,  ibid.  126  ;  H.  Fur. 
916 ;  this  fountain  flowed  with 
blood  at  the  time  of  the  plague 
at  Thebes,  Oed.  177 

521 


INDEX 


DISCORD,  a  Fury,  summoned  by 
Juno  from  Hades  to  drive  Her- 
cules to  madness,  H.  Fur.  93  ; 
her  abode,  ibid.  *93 

DODONA,  city  of  Chaonia  in  Epirus, 
famous  for  ancient  oracle  of 
Jupiter,  in  a  grove  of  oaks,  which 
had  the  gift  of  speech,  H.  Oct. 
1473 ;  when  Minerva  aided  in 
the  construction  of  the  Argo,  she 
set  in  its  prow  timber  cut  from 
the  speaking  oak  of  Dodona,  and 
this  piece  had  oracular  power  ; 
the  Argo's  "  voice  "  was  lost 
through  fear  of  the  Symplegades, 
Med.  349.  See  CHAONIAN  OAKS 

DOMITIUS,  father  of  Nero,  Oct.  249 

DRAGON,  (1)  guardian  of  the  apples 
of  the  Hesperides,  slain  by  Her- 
cules, and  afterwards  set  in  the 
heavens  as  constellation  Draco, 
between  the  two  Bears, Thy.  870  ; 
Med.  694  ;  (2)  of  Colchis,  guardian 
of  the  golden  fleece,  put  to 
sleep  by  Medea's  magic,  Med. 
703  ;  (3)  dragon  sacred  to  Mars 
killed  by  Cadmus  near  the  site 
of  his  destined  city  of  Thebes. 
From  the  teeth  of  this  dragon, 
sown  by  Cadmus,  armed  men 
sprang  up,  Oed.  **725  ;  H.  Fur. 
260  ;  some  of  these  teeth  were 
sown  by  Jason  in  Colchis  with  a 
similar  result,  Med.  469 ;  the 
brothers  who  sprang  up  against 
Cadmus  are  described  as  living  in 
Hades,  Oed.  586 

DRUSTJS,  Livius,  the  fate  of,  Oct. 
887, 942 

DRYADS,  race  of  wood-nymphs,  fl. 
Oet.  1053  ;  Hip.  784 


E 


ECHO,  nymph  who  pined  away  to 
a  mere  voice  for  unrequited  love 
of  Narcissus.  She  dwells  in 
mountain  caves,  and  repeats  the 
last  words  of  all  that  is  said  in 
her  hearing,  Tro.  109 

ELECTRA  (Agamemnon),  daughter 
of  Agamemnon  and  Clytemnes- 
tra,  sister  of  Orestes ;  gives  her 
brother  to  Strophius,  king  of 
Phocis,  to  save  him  from  Cly- 
temnestra  and  Aegisthus,  Agam. 

522 


910 ;  defies  her  mother  and 
Aegisthus,  ibid.  953  ;  is  taken 
away  to  imprisonment,  ibid.  1000 ; 
Octavia  compares  her  woes  with 
Electra's,  to  the  advantage  of  the 
latter,  Oct.  60 

ELEUSIN  (Eleusis),  ancient  city  of 
Attica,  famous  for  its  mysteries 
of  Ceres,  H.  Oet.  599  ;  Tro.  843  ; 
H.  Fur.  300 ;  Hip.  838 ;  the 
mysteries  described,  H.  Fur. 
*842.  See  CERES,  TRIPTOLEMUS 

ELYSIUM,  abode  of  the  blest,  Tro. 
159,  944;  H.  Oet.  956,  1916; 
H.  Fur.  744 

ENCELADUS,  one  of  the  Titans  who 
attempted  to  dethrone  Jove, 
overthrown  and  buried  under 
Sicily,  H.  Fur.  79  ;  H.  Oet.  1140, 
1145, 1159, 1735 

ERIDANUS,  mythical  and  poetical 
name  of  the  Po,  H.  Oet.  186. 
See  PHAETHONTIADES 

ERINYES,  the  Furies,  H.  Fur.  982  ; 
Med.  952 ;  Oed.  590  ;  Agam.  83  ; 
Thy.  251 ;  H.  Oet.  609,  671  ;  Oct. 
23,  161,  263,  619,  913.  See 
FURIES 

ERYX,  son  of  Butes  and  Venus, 
famous  boxer,  overcome  by  Her- 
cules, H.  Fur.  481  ;  mountain  in 
Sicily,  said  to  have  been  named 
from  the  preceding,  Oed.  600 

ETEOCLES  (Phoenissae),  one  of 
the  two  sons  of  Oedipus  and 
Jocasta.  After  Oedipus  aban- 
doned the  throne  of  Thebes 
(Phoen.  104),  Eteocles  and  Poly- 
nices  agreed  to  reign  alternately. 
Eteocles,  the  elder,  ascended  the 
throne,  but  when  his  year  was  up 
refused  to  give  way  to  his 
brother,  Phoen.  55,280,  389;  H. 
Fur.  389.  See  POLYNICES 

EUMENIDES  ("  the  gracious  ones  "), 
a  euphemistic  name  for  the 
Furies,  H.  Fur.  87  ;  H.  Oet.  1002 

EUROPA,  daughter  of  Agenor,  king 
of  Tyre,  beloved  of  Jupiter,  who, 
as  a  bull,  carried  her  away  to 
Crete,  Oct.  206,  766 ;  H.  pet. 
550  ;  this  episode  immortalised 
by  the  constellation  of  Taurus, 
H.  Fur.  9  ;  sought  in  vain  by  her 
brother  Cadmus,  Oed.  715  ;  the 
continent  of  Europe  named  after 
her,  Agam.  205,  274  ;  Tro.  896 


INDEX 


EUEYBATES  (Agavufmnon),  mes- 
senger of  Agamemnon  who  an- 
nounces victory  of  Greeks  at 
Troy  and  the  hero's  near  approach 
to  Mycenae,  Agam.  392 ;  relates 
the  sufferings  of  the  Greek  fleet 
on  the  homeward  voyage,  ibid. 
*421 

EURYDICE,  wife  of  Orpheus,  slain 
by  a  serpent's  sting  on  her  wed- 
ding day ;  story  of  Orpheus' 
quest  for  her  in  Hades,  H.  Fur. 
*569  ;  rescued  by  Orpheus  from 
the  lower  world,  but  lost  again, 
H.  Oet.  *1084.  See  ORPHEUS 

EURYSTHEUS,  son  of  Sthenelus, 
grandson  of  Perseus,  who,  by 
a  trick  of  Juno,  was  given  power 
over  Hercules,  and,  at  Juno's 
instance,  laid  upon  Hercules  his 
various  labours,  II.  Oet.  403 ; 
H.  Fur.  43,  78, 479,  526,  830  ;  lord 
of  Argos  and  Mycenae,  ibid. 
1180;  H.  Oet.  1800:  his  punish- 
ment predicted,  ibid.  1973 

EURYTUS,  king  of  Oechalia  and 
father  of  lole,  H.  Oet.  1490  ;  he 
and  his  house  destroyed  by 
Hercules  because  he  refused  the 
latter's  suit  for  lole,  ibid  100, 
207,  221 ;  E.  Fur.  477.  See 
HERCULES 


FESOENNINE,  of  Fescennla,  ancient 
town  of  Etruria,  famous  for  a 
species  of  coarse  dialogues  in 
verse  which  bear  its  name,  Med. 
113 

FORTUNE,  goddess  of  fate,  ruling 
over  affairs  of  men,  H.  Fur.  326, 
524;  Tro.  *1,  *259,  269,  697, 
735 ;  Phoen.  82,  308,  452  ;  Med. 
159,  176,  287;  Hip.  979,  1124, 
1143  ;  Oed.  11,  86,  674,  786,  825, 
934  ;  Agam.  28,  58,  72,  89,  101, 
248,  594,  698  ;  H.  Oet.  697  ;  Oct. 
36,  377,  479,  563,  888,  898,  931, 
962  ;  Thy.  618 

FURIES,  avenging  goddesses,  dwell- 
ing in  Hades,  set  to  punish  and 
torment  men  both  on  earth  and 
in  the  lower  world  ;  described  and 
appealed  to,  Med.  13 ;  Juno 
plots  to  summon  them  from 


Hacks  to  make  Hercules  mad, 
H.  Fur.  86  ;  described,  ibid.  87  ; 
described  by  Cassandra,  Agam. 
*759  ;  move  in  bands,  Thy.  78, 
250  ;  Med.  958  ;  a  Fury  used  a? 
a  character  in  prologue,  driving 
on  Thyestes'  ghost  to  perform 
his  mission,  Thy.  *23.  See 
EUMENIDES,  ERINYES,  MEQAERA, 
TISIPHONE 


GEMINI,  zodiacal  constellation  of 
the  Twins,  Castor  and  Pollux, 
Thy.  853 

GERYON,  mythical  king  In  Spain, 
having  three  bodies ;  Hercules 
slew  him  and  brought  his  famous 
cattle  to  Eurystheus  as  his  tenth 
labour,  H.  Fur.  231,  487,  1170; 
Agam.  837 ;  H.  Oet.  26,  1204, 
1900.  See  HERCULES 

GHOSTS.  The  ghost  appears  as  a 
dramatis  persona  in  the  following 
plays:  Agamemnon, in  which  the 
ghost  of  Thyestes  appears  in  the 
prologue  to  urge  Aegisthus  on  to 
fulfil  his  mission;  Thyestes,  in 
which  the  ghost  of  Tantalus  simi- 
larly appears  in  the  prologue ; 
Octavia,  in  which  the  ghost  of 
Agrippina  appears.  In  the  fol- 
lowing plays  the  ghost  affects  the 
action  though  not  actually  ap- 
pearing upon  the  stage  :  Troades, 
in  which  the  ghost  of  Achilles  is 
reported  to  have  appeared  to  the 
Greeks  and  demanded  the  sacri- 
fice of  Polyxena,  168  ff.;  Andro- 
mache also  claims  to  have  seen 
the  ghost  of  Hector  warning  her 
of  the  impending  fate  of  Astyanax, 
443  ff.;  Oedipus,  in  which  the 
ghost  of  Lalus  and  other  departed 
spirits  are  described  as  set  free  by 
the  necromancy  of  Tiresias,  582 
ff.;  Medea,  in  which  the  mangled 
ghost  of  Absyrtus  seems  to  appear 
to  the  distracted  Medea,  963 ; 
ghosts  appear  larger  than  mortu-1 
forms,  Oed.  175 

GIANTS,  monstrous  sons  of  Earth, 
made  war  upon  the  gods,  scaling 
heaven  by  piling  mountains  one 
on  another,  Tro.  829 ;  Thy.  804, 

523 


INDEX 


810,  1084;  H.  Fur.  445,  976; 
H.  Oet.  1139,  *1151 ;  over- 
thrown by  Jove's  thunderbolt, 
H.  Oet.  1302 ;  Oed.  91 ;  with 
the  help  of  Hercules,  H.  Oet. 
1215  ;  buried  under  Sicily,  ibid. 
1309.  See  BRIAREUS,  ENCELA- 
DUS.  GYAS,  MIMAS,  OTHRYS,  TY- 
PHOEUS,  TITANS 

GOLDEN  AGE,  first  age  of  mankind, 
when  peace  and  innocence  reigned 
on  earth,  Hip.  *525  ;  Oct.  *395  ; 
Med.  *329 

GOLDEN-FLEECED  RAM,  (l)  on 
which  Phrixus  and  his  sister, 
Helle,  escaped  from  Boeotia  ;  as 
they  fled  through  the  air  Helle 
fell  off  into  the  sea,  Tro.  1035  ; 
on  arrival  at  Colchis  Phrixus 
sacrificed  the  ram  and  gave  his 
fleece  to  King  Aeetes,  who  hung 
it  in  a  tree  sacred  to  Mars.  This 
fleece  the  prize  sought  by  the 
Argonauts,  Med.  361,  471.  See 
PHRIXUS,  HELLE,  ARGONAUTS. 
(2)  The  emblem  and  pledge  of 
sovereignty  in  the  house  of 
Pelops,  Thy.  *225 

GORGON,  Medusa,  one  of  the  three 
daughters  of  Phorcys.  whose 
head  was  covered  with  snaky 
locks ;  the  sight  of  her  turned 
men  to  stone.  Killed  by  Perseus, 
her  head  presented  to  Minerva, 
who  fixed  it  upon  her  shield,  E. 
Oet.  96 ;  Agam.  530.  See  PER- 
SEUS 

GRACCHI,  two  popular  leaders  of 
the  Sempronian  gens,  brought  to 
ruin  by  popular  renown,  Oct. 
882 

GRADIVUS,  surname  of  Mars,  H. 
Fur.  1342 

GYAS,  one  of  the  giants  who  sought 
to  dethrone  Jove,  E.  Oet.  167, 
1139 


HADES,  place  of  departed  spirits, 
situated  in  the  underworld ; 
entrance  to,  E.  Fur.  662 ; 
description  of,  ibid.  547 ;  Theseus, 
returned  therefrom,  describes 
places  and  persons  there,  ibid. 
**658 ;  the  world  of  the  dead 

524 


and  the  throngs  who  pour  into  it. 
ibid.  *830 ;  its  torments  and 
personages  described  by  ghost 
of  Tantalus,  Thy.  1  ;  its  regions 
and  inhabitants  seen  by  Creon 
through  the  chasm  in  the  earth 
made  by  Tiresias'  incantations. 
Oed  *582 

HARPIES,  mythical  monsters,  half 
woman  and  half  bird :  driven 
from  Phineus  by  Zetes  and 
Calais,  Med.  782  ;  still  torment 
Phineus  in  Hades,  H.  Fur.  759  ; 
used  as  type  of  winged  speed, 
Phoen.  424 

HEBE,  daughter  of  Juno,  cupbearer 
to  the  gods,  given  as  bride  to 
Hercules,  Oct.  211 

HECATE,  daughter  of  Perses,  pre- 
sider  over  enchantments  ;  identi- 
fied with  Proserpina  as  the 
underworld  manifestation  of  the 
deity  seen  in  Diana  on  earth  and 
Luna  in  heaven,  E.  Oet.  1519  ; 
Med.  6,  577,  833,  841 ;  Tro.  389  ; 
Eip.  412  ;  Oed.  569 

HECTOR,  son  of  Priam  and  Hecuba, 
husband  of  Andromache,  bravest 
warrior  and  chief  support  of 
Troy,  Tro.  125 ;  burns  Greek 
fleet,  ibid.  444 ;  Agam.  743 ; 
slays  Patroclus,  Tro.  446 ;  slain 
by  Achilles  and  his  body  dragged 
around  the  walls,  ibid.  *413 ; 
Agam.  743  ;  his  body  ransomed 
by  Priam,  ibid.  447  ;  lamented  by 
the  captive  Trojan  women,  Tro. 
98  ;  his  ghost  warns  Andromache 
in  a  dream  of  the  danger  of  their 
son  Astyanax,  ibid.  443 

HECUBA  (Troades),  wife  of  Priam, 
survives  Troy  ;  leads  the  captive 
women  in  lament  for  Troy's 
downfall,  Tro.  *1 ;  before  the 
birth  of  Paris,  dreamed  that  she 
had  given  birth  to  a  firebrand, 
ibid.  36  ;  her  once  happy  estate 
described,  and  contrasted  with 
her  present  wretchedness,  ibid. 
*958  ;  given  to  Ulysses  by  lot, 
ibid.  980  ;  having  suffered  the  loss 
of  all  her  loved  ones,  she  is  at 
last  changed  into  a  dog,  Agam. 
*705  ;  rejoices  for  the  first  time 
after  Hector's  death  on  occasion 
of  wooden  horse  being  taken  into 
Troy,  ibid.  648 


INDEX 


HELEN  (Troades),  daughter  of 
Jupiter  and  Leda,  sister  of 
Clytemnestra,  wife  of  Menelaiis, 
the  most  beautiful  woman  in 
Greece  ;  given  by  Venus  to  Paris 
as  a  reward  for  his  judgment  in 
her  favour,  Oct.  773  ;  fled  from 
her  husband  for  love  of  Paris, 
Agam.  123  ;  pardoned  by  Aga- 
memnon, she  returns  home  with 
Menelaiis,  ibid.  273 ;  sent  by 
Greeks  to  deceive  Polyxena  and 
prepare  her  for  sacrifice  on 
Achilles'  tomb,  Tro.  861 ;  cursed 
by  Andromache,  ibid.  *892 ; 
bewails  her  own  lot.  ibid.  905  ; 
she  is  not  to  blame  for  the  woes 
of  Troy,  ibid.  917  ;  Clytemnestra 
likened  to  her,  Agam'.  795 

HELLE,  sister  of  Phrixus,  who  fled 
with  him  on  the  golden-fleeced 
ram,  and  fell  off  into  the  sea, 
which  thereafter  bore  her  name 
(Hellespont),  Tro.  1034 ;  Thy. 
851.  See  PHRIXUS 

HERCEAN  JOVE,  epithet  of  Jupiter 
as  protector  of  the  house  ;  at  his 
altar  Priam  was  slain,  Tro.  140  ; 
Agam.  448,  793 

HERCULES  (Hercules  Furens,  Her- 
cules Oetaeus),  son  of  Jupiter  and 
Alcmena,  H.  Fur.  20  ;  H.  Oet. 
7  and  passim  :  night  unnaturally 
prolonged  at  his  conception, 
Agam.  814;  H.  Fur.  24,  1158; 
H.  Oet.  147,  1500,  1697,  1864; 
born  in  Thebes,  Oed.  749 ;  in 
infancy  strangled  two  serpents 
which  Juno  sent  against  him,  H. 
Fur.  *214  ;  H.  Oet.  1205  ;  by  a 
trick  of  Juno  was  made  subject 
to  Eurystheus,  who  set  him  vari- 
ous labours,  H.  Oet.  403  ;  H.  Fur. 
78,  524,  *830.  These  twelve 
labours  are  as  follows :  (1) 
Killing  of  Nemean  lion,  H.  Fur. 
46,  224;  H.  Oet.  16,  411,  1192, 
1235,  1885 ;  Agam.  829 ;  (2) 
destruction  of  Lernean  hydra, 
Agam.  835;  Med.  701  ;  H.  Fur. 
46,  241,  529,  780,  1195;  H.  Oet. 
19,  918,  1193,  1534,  1813  ;  (3) 
capture  of  Arcadian  stag,  famous 
for  its  fleetness  and  its  golden 
antlers,  H.  Fur.  222  ;  H.  Oet. 
17,  1238  ;  Agam.  831  ;  (4)  capture 
of  wild  boar  of  Erymanthus,  H. 


Fur.  228  ;  H.  Oet.  980,  1536, 
1888  ;  Agam.  832  ;  (5)  cleansing 
of  Augean  stables,  H.  Fur.  247  ; 
(6)  killing  of  Stymphalian  birds, 
H.  Fur.  244  ;  H.  Oet.  17,  1237, 
1813,  1889  ;  Agam.  850  ;  (7) 
capture  of  Cretan  bull,  H.  Fur. 
230  ;  H.  Oet.  27  ;  Agam.  834  ;  (8) 
capturing  mares  of  Diomedes  and 
slaying  of  Diomedes,  H.  Fur. 
226  ;  H.  Oet.  20, 1538, 1814, 1894  ; 
Agam.  842  ;  (9)  securing  girdle 
of  Hippolyte,  H.  Fur.  245,  542  ; 
H.  Oet.  21,  1183,  1450  ;  Agam. 
848 ;  (10)  killing  Geryon  and 
capturing  his  oxen,  H.  Fur.  231, 
487  ;  H.  Oet.  26,  1204,  1900 ; 
Agam.  837  ;  (11)  securing  golden 
apples  of  Hesperides,  H.  Fur 
239,  530  ;  H.  Oet.  18  ;  Phoen.  316  ; 
Agam.  *852  ;  (12)  descent  to 
Hades  and  bringing  back  Cerbe- 
rus, H.  Fur.  *46,  **760  ;  H.  Oet. 
23,  1162,  1244  ;  Agam.  859. 
Other  deeds  of  Hercules  are  :  bore 
the  heavens  upon  his  shoulders 
in  place  of  Atlas,  H.  Fur  *69, 
528,  1101;  H.  Oet.  282,  1241, 
1764,  1905  ;  burst  a  passage  for 
Peneus  between  Ossa  and  Olym- 
pus, H.  Fur.  *283 ;  rent  Calpe 
and  Abyla  (the  "  Pillars  of 
Hercules ")  apart  and  made  a 
passage  for  the  sea  into  the 
ocean,  H.  Fur.  237  ;  H.  Oet.  1240, 
1253,  1569  ;  overcame  Centaurs, 
ibid.  1195  ;  fought  with  Acheloiis 
for  possession  of  Deianira,  ibid. 
299,  495  ;  slew  Nessus,  who  was 
carrying  off  his  bride,  ibid.  *500, 
921 ;  overcame  Eryx  the  boxer, 
H.  Fur.  481  ;  slew  Antaeus,  H. 
Fur.  482,  1171  ;  H.  Oet.  24,  1899  ; 
killed  Busiris,  H.  Fur.  483  ;  H. 
Oet.  26  ;  Tro.  1106  ;  slew  Cycnus, 
son  of  Mars,  H.  Fur.  485  ;  killed 
Zetes  and  Calais,  Med.  634; 
killed  Periclymenus,  ibid.  635; 
wounded  Pluto,  who  was  going 
to  aid  the  Pylians,  H.  Fur.  560  ; 
fought  with  Death  for  the  reco- 
very of  Alcestis,  H.  Oet.  766  n. ; 
wrecked  off  the  African  coast, 
made  his  way  on  foot  to  shore, 
ibid.  319  ;  assisted  the  gods  in 
their  fight  against  the  giants, 
ibid.  444  ;  H.  Oet.  170  ;  captured 

525 


INDEX 


Troy  with  aid  of  Telamon  during 
reign  of  Laomedqn,  Tro.  136, 
719  ;  his  arrows  said  to  be  twice 
fated  for  the  destruction  of 
Troy,  ibid.  825 ;  Agam.  863 ; 
forced  Charon  to  bear  him  across 
the  Lethe  (not  Styx),  H.  Fur. 
*762  ;  H.  Oet.  1556 ;  rescued 
Theseus  from  Hades,  Hip.  843  ; 
H.  Fur.  806  ;  E.  Oet.  1197,  1768  ; 
overcame  Eurytus,  king  of  Oecha- 
lia,  H.  Fur.  477  ;  H.  Oet.  422. 
More  or  less  extended  recapitula- 
tions of  the  deeds  of  Hercules  are 
found  in  the  following  passages  : 
Agam.  808-866  ;  H.  Fur.  205-308, 
481-487,  524-560  ;  H.  Oet.  1-98, 
410-435,  1161-1206,  1218-1257, 
1518-1606,1810-1830, 1872-1939. 
The  loves  of  Hercules  are  as 
follows :  Hesione,  daughter  of 
Laomedon,  rescued  from  the 
sea-monster,  and  made  captive 
to  Hercules  with  the  first  fall 
of  Troy  ;  he  afterward*  gave  her 
to  Te'amon,  H.  Oet.  363  ;  Auge, 
daughter  of  Aleus,  king  of  Tegea. 
ibid.  367  ;  the  fifty  daughters  of 
Thespius,  ibid.  369 ;  Omphale, 
queen  of  Lydia,  to  whom  Her- 
cules, in  expiation  of  an  act  of 
sacrilege,  went  into  voluntary 
servitude  for  three  years,  ibid. 
*371,  573  ;  H.  Fur.  *465  ;  Hip. 
317  ;  lole,  daughter  of  Eurytus, 
king  of  Oechalia,  whom  Hercules 
destroyed  because  lole  was 
denied  to  him,  H.  Oet.  100,  207, 
221  ;  H.  Fur.  477.  His  wives 
were  (1)  Megara,  daughter  of 
Creon,  king  of  Thebes  ;  Hercules, 
in  a  fit  of  madness,  slew  her  and 
his  children  by  her,  H.  Fur. 
*987,  *1010;  H.  Oet.  429,  903; 
when  his  sanity  returned,  The- 
seus promised  him  cleansing  for 
his  crime  by  Mars  at  Athens, 
H.  Fur.  1341  ;  elsewhere  said  to 
have  been  cleansed  by  washing 
in  the  Cinyps,  a  river  in  Africa, 
H.  Oet.  907;  (2)  Deianira, 
daughter  of  Oeneus,  king  of 
Calydonia.  See  DEIA.NIRA  and 
ACHELOPS.  The  favourite  tree 
of  Hercules  was  the  poplar,  H. 
Fur.  894,  912;  H.  Oet.  1641. 
Hercules  destined  to  come  to  ft 


526 


tragic  end  after  a  life  of  great 
deeds.  Med.  637  ;  death  in 
accordance  with  an  oracle  which 
declared  that  he  should  die  by 
the  hand  of  one  whom  he  had 
slain,  H.  Oet.  1473 ;  Deianira, 
ignorantly  seeking  to  regain  her 
husband's  love  from  lole,  sends 
him  a  robe  anointed  with  the 
poisoned  blood  of  Nessus,  ibid. 
535  ;  Lichas  bears  the  robe  to 
his  master,  ibid.  569  ;  Hercules 
was  worshipping  Cenaean  Jove 
in  Euboea  when  the  robe  was 
brought  to  him,  ibid.  775  ;  his 
sufferings  caused  by  the  poison. 
ibid.  *749,  1218  ;  hurls  Lichas 
over  a  cliff,  ibid.  809  ;  after  dire 
suffering,  is  borne  by  boat  from 
Euboea  to  Mt.  Oeta,  where  he 
was  to  perish,  ibid.  839  ;  funeral 
pyre  built  for  him  on  Oeta,  ibid. 
1483  ;  his  place  in  heaven  after 
death,  ibid.  1565  ;  his  triumphant 
death  in  the  midst  of  the  flames, 
ibid.  **1610,  1726  ;  his  fated  bow 
is  given  to  Philoctetes,  ibid. 
1648  ;  his  ashes  are  collected  by 
his  mother,  Alcmena,  ibid.  1758  ; 
Medea  possessed  some  of  the 
ashes  of  Oeta's  pyre  soaked  with 
his  blood,  Med.  Ill ;  his  voice  is 
heard  from  heaven.  H.  Oet.  *  1940  ; 
received  into  heaven  in  spite  of 
Juno's  opposition,  he  is  given 
Hebe  as  his  wife,  Oct.  210 

HERMIONE,  daughter  of  Menelatis 
and  Helen,  Tro.  1134 

HESIONE,  daughter  of  Laomedon, 
exposed  to  a  sea-monster  sent  by 
Neptune  to  punish  the  perfidy 
of  Laomedon.  Rescued  by  Her- 
cules when  he  and  Telamon  took 
Troy,  H.  Oet.  363 

HESPERIDES,  golden  apples  of,  on 
far  western  islands,  watched  over 
by  three  nymphs,  guarded  by 
dragon  ;  Hercules  in  eleventh 
labour  secured  them  for  Eurys- 
theus,  Agam.  852  ;  Phoen.  316 ; 
H.  Fur.  239,  530 

HESPERUS,  evening  star,  messenger 
of  night,  Med.  878  ;  Hip.  750 ; 
H.  Fur.  883  ;  impatiently  awaited 
by  lovers,  Med.  72  ;  Phoen.  87  ; 
functions  of  evening  and  morning 
Btars  interchanged  at  the  concep- 


INDEX 


tion  of  Hercules,  H    Fur.  821  ; 
H.  Oet.  149 

HlEROSCOPiA  (extispicium),  method 
of  prophesying  by  inspecting 
viscera  of  sacrificial  victim, 
practised  by  Tiresias,  Oed.  *353 

HIPPODAMIA,  daughter  of  Oeno- 
maiis,  king  of  Pisa.  See  MYRTILUS 

HIPPOLYTB,  queen  of  Amazons, 
possessed  of  belt  of  Mars ; 
Hercules  as  his  ninth  labour 
secured  this  belt,  Aqam.  848 ; 
H.  Fur.  245,  542;  H.  Oet.  21, 
1183,  1450 

HIPPOLYTUS  (Hippolytus),  son  of 
Theseus  and  Hippolyte,  or, 
according  to  others,  of  Theseus 
and  Antiope ;  devoted  to  the 
hunt  and  to  Diana,  Hip.  1 ; 
object  of  Phaedra's  guilty  19 ve, 
ibid.  *99 ;  hates  all  womankind, 
ibid.  230 ;  his  life  as  a  recluse, 
ibid.  435 ;  sings  the  praises  of 
life  in  woods  and  fields,  ibid. 
*483  ;  is  charged  with  assaulting 
Phaedra,  ibid.  725  ;  death  caused 
by  a  monster  sent  by  Neptune  in 
response  to  prayer  of  Theseus, 
ibid.  1000 ;  his  innocence  dis- 
covered, ibid.  1191 

HYADES,  daughters  of  Atlas  and 
sisters  of  the  Pleiades  ;  a  con- 
stellation borne  on  horns  of 
Taurus,  Thy.  852  ;  storm-bringing 
constellation,  not  yet  recognised 
as  such  in  the  golden  age,  Med. 
311  ;  disturbed  by  magic  power 
of  Medea,  ibid.  769 

HYDRA,  monster  which  infested  the 
marsh  of  Lerna  ;  had  nine  heads, 
one  of  which  was  immortal. 
Slain  by  Hercules  as  his  second 
labour,  Agam.  835  ;  Med.  701  ; 
H.  Fur.  46,  241,  529,  780,  1195  ; 
H.  Oet.  19,  94,  259,  851,  914,  918, 
1193,  1534,  1650,  1813,  1927 

HYLAS,  youth,  beloved  by  Her- 
cules, accompanied  him  on  Ar- 
gonautic  expedition  ;  was  seized 
by  water-nymphs,  Hip.  780 ; 
Med.  *647 

HYLLUS  (Hercules  Oetaeus),  son  of 
Hercules  and  Deianira,  H.  Oet. 
742  :  the  grandson  of  Jove,  ibid. 
1421  ;  lole  consigned  to  him  as 
wife  by  the  dying  Hercules,  ibid. 
1490 


HYMEN,  god  of  marriage,  Tro.  861, 
805  ;  Med.  *66.  110,  116,  300 

HYPERMNESTRA,  one  of  the  fifty 
daughters  of  Danaiis,  who  refused 
to  murder  her  husband,  H.  Fur. 
500  ;  not  punished  with  her 
sisters  in  Hades,  H.  Oet.  948. 
See  DANAIDES 


ICARUS,  son  of  Daedalus  ;  the  wings 
on  which  he  attempted  flight 
were  melted  by  the  sun  ;  fell  into 
the  sea,  which  received  his  name, 
Agam,  506  ;  Oed.  *892  ;  H.  Oet. 
686.  See  DAEDALUS 

IDMON,  son  of  Apollo  and  Asteria. 
Argonaut,  had  prophetic  power  ; 
was  killed  by  a  wild  boar,  not,  as 
Seneca  says,  by  a  serpent,  Med. 
652 

INO,  daughter  of  Cadmus,  sister  of 
Semele,  wife  of  Athamas,  king  of 
Thebes.  Athamas,  driven  mad 
by  Juno,  because  luo  had  nursed 
the  infant  Bacchus,  attempted  to 
slay  her  ;  she  escaped  by  leaping 
into  the  sea  with  her  son  Meli- 
certa.  Both  changed  into  sea- 
divinities,  Phoen.  22  ;  Oed.  445 
See  PALAEMON 

IOLE  (Hercules  Oetaeus),  daughter 
of  Eurytus,  king  of  Oechalia. 
Was  sought  in  marriage  by 
Hercules,  who,  when  refused, 
destroyed  her  father  and  all  his 
house,  H.  Oet.  221  ;  in  captivity 
she  mourns  her  fate,  ibid.  173  ; 
sent  as  captive  to  Deianira,  ibid. 
224  ;  her  reception  by  Deiauira, 
ibid.  237 ;  is  given  to  Hyllus  as 
wife  by  the  dying  Hercules,  ibid. 
1490 

iPHiGENlA,  daughter  of  Agamem- 
non and  Clytemnestra  ;  taken  to 
be  sacrificed  at  Aulis,  on  pretext 
of  marriage  to  Achilles,  Agam. 
158  ;  sacrificed  that  Greeks  might 
sail  from  Aulis,  ibid.  160  ;  Tro. 
249,  360,  555  n.,  570  n.  ;  her 
sacrifice  described,  Agam.  *164  ; 
rescued  by  Diana  and  taken  to 
serve  in  goddess'  temple  among 
the  Taurians,  Oct.  972 

527 


INDEX 


IRIS,  messenger  of  Juno,  goddess 
of  the  rainbow,  Oed.  315 

ITYS,  son  of  Tereus,  king  of  Thrace, 
and  Procne,  who,  to  punish  her 
husband  for  his  outrage  upon 
her  sister,  Philomela,  slew  and 
served  Itys  at  a  banquet  to  his 
father.  The  sisters,  changed  to 
birds,  ever  bewail  Itys,  H.  Oet. 
192  ;  Agam.  670 

IxION,  for  his  insult  to  Juno 
whirled  on  a  wheel  in  Hades, 
Hip.  1236  :  Thy.  8  ;  Agam.  15  ; 
Oct.  623  ;  H.  Fur.  750  ;  H.  Oet. 
945,  1011:  Med.  744;  his  wheel 
stood  still  at  music  of  Orpheus, 
ibid.  1068.  See  NEPHELE 


JASON  (Medea),  son  of  Aeson,  king 
of  Thessaly,  nephew  of  the 
usurping  king,  Pelias.  Was 
persuaded  by  Pelias  to  undertake 
the  adventure  of  the  Golden 
Fleece,  for  which  he  organised 
and  led  the  Argonautic  expedi- 
tion. Through  Medea's  aid  per- 
formed the  tasks  in  Colchis  set 
by  Aeetes  :  tamed  the  fire-breath- 
ing bull,  Med.  121,  241,  466; 
overcame  the  giants  sprung  from 
the  serpent's  teeth,  ibid.  467 ; 
put  to  sleep  the  dragon,  ibid. 
471.  Had  no  part  in  murder  of 
Pelias,  for  which  he  and  Medea 
were  driven  out  of  Thessaly,  ibid. 
262 ;  but  this  and  all  Medea's 
crimes  had  been  done  for  his 
sake,  ibid.  *275 ;  living  in  exile 
in  Corinth,  is  forced  by  Creon 
into  marriage  with  the  king's 
daughter,  Creiisa,  ibid.  137 ; 
Medea  curses  him,  ibid.  19 ;  he 
laments  the  dilemma  in  which  he 
finds  himself,  ibid.  431  ;  decides 
to  yield  to  Crepn's  demands  for 
the  sake  of  his  children,  ibid. 
441 

JOCASTA  (Oedipus,  Phoenissae), 
wife  of  Lalus,  king  of  Thebes, 
mother  and  afterwards  wife  of 
Oedipus  ;  on  learning  that  Oedi- 
pus is  her  son,  kills  herself,  Oed. 
1024.  According  to  another 
version,  she  is  still  living  after 

528 


Oedipus  goes  Into  exile  ;  bewail? 
the  strife  between  her  sons, 
Eteocles  and  Polynices,  Phoen. 
377  ;  rushing  between  the  two 
hosts,  tries  to  reconcile  her  sons, 
ibid.  *443 

JUDGES  IN  HADES,  Aeacus,  Minos, 
and  Rhadamanthus.  weep  when 
they  hear  Orpheus  strains,  H. 
Fur.  579 ;  Theseus  describes 
then-  persons  and  judgments,  the 
moral  law  under  which  the  souls 
of  men  are  judged,  the  punish- 
ments and  rewards  meted  out, 
ibid.  **727 

JULIA,  daughter  of  Drusus  and 
Livia  Drusilla,  exiled  and  after- 
wards slain,  Oct.  944 

JUNO  (Hercules  Furens),  reveals 
her  motive  hi  persecuting  Her- 
cules ;  recounts  Jove's  infidelities 
and  relates  her  struggles  with 
Hercules  ;  she  cannot  overcome 
him  by  any  toil,  H.  Fur.  *1  ff. ; 
type  of  wife  who,  by  wise  manage- 
ment, won  back  her  husband's 
love,  Oct.  *201  ;  hymn  in  praise 
of,  Agam.  340 ;  Argos  is  dear  to 
her,  ibid.  809 

JUPITER,  lord  of  Olympus,  ruler  of 
the  skies  and  seasons,  Hip.  *960  ; 
ruler  of  heaven  and  earth,  to 
whom  victors  consecrate  their 
spoils,  Agam.  *802  ;  his  mother, 
Rhea,  brought  him  forth  in  Crete 
and  hid  him  in  a  cave  of  Ida,  lest 
his  father,  Saturn,  should  dis- 
cover and  destroy  him,  H.  Fur. 
459;  hymn  in  praise  of,  Agam 
381 ;  his  thunderbolts  forged  in 
Aetna,  Hip.  156 ;  his  amours 
with  mortals :  with  Leda,  to 
whom  he  appeared  as  a  swan, 
Hip.  301 ;  H.  Fur.  14 ;  with 
Europa,  as  a  bull,  Hip.  303 ; 
H.  Fur.  9;  H.  Oet.  550;  with 
Danae,  as  a  golden  shower,  H. 
Fur.  1 3  ;  with  Callisto,  ibid.  6 ; 
with  the  Pleiades  (Electra,  Maia, 
Taygete),  ibid.  10  ;  with  Latona, 
ifctrf.  15  ;  with  Semele,  ibid.  16 ; 
with  Alcmena,  ibid.  22.  For  his 
ancient  oracle  in  Epirus,  see 
DODONA  ;  see  also  HERCEAN 
JOVE  and  CENAETJM 

JUSTICE  (JustUia),  the  goddess 
Astraea,  who  once  lived  on  earth 


INDEX 


during  the  innocence  of  man  in 
the  golden  age  of  Saturn,  Oct. 
398 ;  fled  the  earth  when  sin 
became  dominant,  ibid.  424. 
See  ASTRAEA 


LABDACIDAE,  Thebans,  from  Lab- 
dacus,  king  of  Thebes,  father  of 
Lalus,  Oed.  710 ;  Phoen.  53 ; 
H.  Fur.  495 

LAOHESIS,  one  of  the  three  fates, 
or  Parcae,  who  measured  out  the 
thread  of  human  life,  Oed.  985. 
The  other  two  were  Clotho  and 
Atropos.  See  CLOTHO 

LAERTES,  father  of  Ulysses,  dwell- 
ing in  Ithaca,  Tro.  700 ;  Thy. 
587 

LAltus,  king  of  Thebes,  husband  of 
Jocasta,  father  of  Oedipus,  whom, 
fearing  an  oracle,  he  had  exposed 
in  infancy ;  his  murder  by  an 
unknown  man  must  be  avenged 
before  the  plague  afflicting  Thebes 
can  be  relieved,  Oed.  *217  ;  place 
and  supposed  manner  of  his 
death,  ibid.  *276,  776 ;  his  shade, 
raised  by  Tiresias,  declares  that 
Oedipus  is  his  murderer,  ibid. 
*619  ;  his  shade  seems  to  appear 
to  the  blind  Oedipus  in  exile, 
Phoen.  39 

LAOMEDON,  king  of  Troy,  father  of 
Priam ;  deceived  Apollo  and 
Neptune,  who  built  the  walls  of 
Troy,  and  again  cheated  Her- 
cules out  of  his  promised  reward 
for  delivering  Hesione ;  hence 
his  house  is  called  a  "  lying 
house,"  Agam.  864 

LAPITHAE,  tribe  of  Thessaly,  asso- 
ciated in  story  with  the  Centaurs, 
and  both  with  a  struggle  against 
Hercules  in  which  they  were 
worsted  ;  hi  Hades  still  fear  their 
great  enemy  when  he  appears, 
H.  Fur.  779 

LATONA,  beloved  of  Jupiter,  to 
whom  she  bore  Apollo  and 
Diana,  Agam.  324 ;  the  floating 
island,  Delos,  the  only  spot 
allowed  her  by  jealous  Juno  for 
her  travail,  H.  Fur.  15 


LEDA,  wife  of  Tyndareus,  king  of 
Sparta  ;  was  beloved  by  Jupiter 
in  the  form  of  a  swan,  Oct.  205. 
764  ;  became  by  him  mother  of 
Castor  and  Pollux,  H.  Fur.  14  ; 
Oct.  208  ;  mother  of  Clytemnes- 
tra  by  Tyndareus,  Agam.  125, 
234 

LEMNOS,  island  in  the  Aegean, 
where  Vulcan  fell  and  established 
his  forges,  H.  Get.  1362 ;  all 
the  Lemnian  women,  except 
Hypsipyle,  murdered  their  male 
relatives,  Agam.  566 

LEO,  zodiacal  constellation  of  the 
Lion,  representing  the  Nemean 
lion  slain  by  Hercules,  H.  Fur. 
69,  945  ;  Thy.  855  ;  said  to  have 
fallen  from  the  moon,  where, 
according  to  the  Pythagoreans, 
all  monsters  had  their  origin,  H. 
Fur.  83 

LETHE,  river  of  the  lower  world 
whose  waters  cause  those  who 
drink  to  forget  the  past,  H.  Oet. 
936  ;  H.  Fur.  680  ;  flip.  1202  ; 
is  used  as  equivalent  to  Styx  or 
the  lower  world  hi  general,  ibid. 
147  ;  Oed.  560  ;  E.  Oet.  1162, 
1208,  1550,  1985  ;  Charon  plies 
his  boat  over  this  river,  H.  Fur. 
777 

LIBRA,  zodiacal  constellation  of  the 
Scales,  marking  the  autumnal 
equinox,  Hip.  839  ;  Thy.  858 

LICHAS,  messenger  of  Hercules  to 
Deianira,  H.  Oet.  99  ;  bearer  of 
the  poisoned  robe  from  Deianira, 
thrown  over  a  cliff  by  Hercules, 
ibid.  567,  570,  809,  814,  978, 
1460 

LIVIA,  wife  of  Drusus ;  her  fate, 
Oct.  942 

LOVES,  "Epoj?  (Cupid)  and  'AiTt'pu>?, 
twin  sons  of  Venus,  Hip.  275 

LUCIFER,  morning  star,  the  herald 
of  the  sun,  Hip.  752  ;  Oed.  507, 
741  ;  H.  Oet.  149 

LUOINA,  goddess  who  presides  over 
child-birth,  i.e.  Diana  or  Luna, 
Agam.  385 ;  Med.  2 ;  or  Juno, 
ibid.  61 

LUCRETIA,  daughter  of  Lucretius, 
wife  of  Collatinus,  avenged  by  a 
bloody  war  for  the  outrage 
committed  upon  her  by  Sextus 
Tarquinius,  Oct.  300 

529 


INDEX 


LUNA,  goddess  of  the  moon,  iden- 
tified with  Diana  upon  the  earth, 
called  also  Phoebe  as  sister  of 
Phoebus,  Oed.  44 ;  reflects  her 
brother's  fires,  ibid.  253  ;  passes 
his  car  in  shorter  course,  Thy. 
838  ;  in  love  with  Endymion,  she 
seeks  the  earth,  Hip.  309,  422, 
785 ;  gives  her  chariot  to  her 
brother  to  drive,  ibid.  310  ;  saved 
by  the  clashing  of  vessels  from 
the  influence  of  magic,  ibid. 
790 

LYCURGUS,  king  of  Thrace  ;  des- 
troyed for  his  opposition  to 
Bacchus,  H.  Fur.  903;  Oed.  471 

LYCUS  (Hercules  Furens),  usurper 
in  Thebes  while  Hercules  is 
absent  in  Hades  ;  slew  Creon  and 
his  sons,  H.  Fur.  270  ;  boasts  of 
his  power  and  wealth,  ibid.  332  ; 
desires  union  with  Megara,  wife 
of  the  absent  Hercules,  daughter 
of  Creon,  ibid.  345 ;  proposes 
marriage  to  Megara,  ibid.  360  ; 
scorned  by  her,  ibid.  372 ;  slain 
by  Hercules,  ibid.  895 

LYNCEUS,  one  of  the  Argonauts, 
renowned  for  his  keenness  of 
vision,  Med.  232 


M 


MAEANDER,  river  of  Phrygia,  cele- 
brated for  its  winding  course, 
Phoen.  606;  H.  Fur.  684 

MAENADS,  female  attendants  and 
worshippers  of  Bacchus,  Oed. 
436 ;  mad  under  inspiration  of 
Bacchus,  H.  Oet.  243 ;  uncon- 
sciousness of  pain,  Tro.  674 ; 
range  over  the  mountains,  Med. 
383 

MAGIO  ARTS,  as  practised  by 
Medea,  Med.  670-842  ;  by  Tire- 
sias,  Oed.  548-625  ;  by  the  nurse 
of  Deianira,  H.  Oet.  452-64 

MANTO  (Oedipus),  prophetic  daugh- 
ter of  Tiresias,  Agam.  22  ;  leads 
her  blind  father,  Oed.  290 ; 
describes  to  him  the  sacrifices, 
which  he  interprets,  ibid.  303 

MARS,  son  of  Jupiter  and  Juno,  god 
of  war,  Tro.  185,  783,  1058; 
Phoen.  527,  626,  630 ;  Med.  62  ; 

530 


Hip.  465.  808  ;  Oct.  293  ;  Agam. 
548 ;  called  also  Mavors,  Hip. 
550 ;  Thy.  557  ;  Oed.  90;  and  Gra- 
divus,  H.  Fur.  1342  ;  used  of  war 
or  battle,  Oed.  275,  646;  Agam. 
921  ;  his  amour  with  Venus 
discovered  by  Phoebus,  who  with 
the  aid  of  Vulcan  caught  them  in 
a  net :  for  this  reason  Venus  hates 
the  race  of  Phoebus,  Hip.  125; 
summoned  to  judgment  by  Nep- 
tune for  the  murder  of  bis  son, 
was  tried  and  acquitted  by  the 
twelve  gods  at  Athens  on  the 
Areopagus.  H.  Fur.  1342 

MEDEA  (Medea),  daughter  of 
Aeetes,  king  of  Colchis,  grand- 
daughter of  Sol  and  Persels,  Med. 
28,  210  ;  grandeur  of  her  estate 
in  Aeetes'  kingdom,  ibid.  *209, 
483  ;  mistress  of  magic  arts,  ibid. 
*750,  whereby  she  helped  Jason 
perform  the  tasks  set  by  Aeetes, 
ibid.  169,  467,  471  ;  helped  Jason 
carry  off  the  golden  fleece,  ibid. 
130 ;  did  all  for  love  of  Jason, 
ibid.  119 ;  slew  her  brother, 
Absyrtus,  and  strewed  his  mem- 
bers to  retard  Aeetes'  pursuit, 
ibid.  121 ;  H.  Oet.  950  ;  tricked 
the  daughters  of  Pelias  into 
murdering  their  father,  Med.  133, 
201,  *258  ;  driven  out  of  Thessaly 
and  pursued  by  Acastus,  she, 
with  Jason,  sought  safety  in 
Corinth,  ibid.  247,  257  ;  all  her 
crimes  were  for  Jason's  sake,  ibid. 
275  ;  exiled  by  Creon,  she  obtains 
one  day  of  respite,  ibid.  295 ; 
prepares  a  deadly  robe  for  her 
rival,  Creusa,  ibid.  570 ;  her 
magic  incantations,  ibid.  *675 ; 
sends  robe  to  Creusa,  ibid.  816  ; 
rejoices  in  its  terrible  effect,  ibid. 
893 ;  kills  her  two  sons,  ibid. 
970,  1019 ;  gloats  over  her  hus- 
band's misery  and  vanishes  hi  the 
air  in  a  chariot  drawn  by  dragons, 
ibid.  1025 ;  goes  to  Athens  and 
marries  Aegeus ;  type  of  an  evil 
woman,  Hip.  563  ;  stepmother  of 
Theseus,  ibid.  697 

MEDUSA,  one  of  the  three  Gorgons, 
slain  by  Perseus.  He  cut  off  her 
head,  which  had  power  to  petrify 
whatever  looked  upon  it,  and  gave 
it  to  Minerva,  who  set  it  upon  her 


INDEX 


aegis,  Agam.  530  ;  her  gall  used 
by  Medea  in  magic,  Med.  831 

MEGAERA,  one  of  the  Furies,  sum- 
moned by  Juno  to  drive  Hercules 
to  madness,  H.  Fur.  102  ;  appears 
to  the  maddened  Medea  with 
scourge  of  serpents,  Med.  960  ; 
seems  to  appear  to  the  distracted 
Deianira,  U.  Oet.  1006,  1014 ; 
summoned  by  Atreus  to  assist 
him  in  his  revenge  upon  his 
brother,  Thy.  252.  See  FURIES 

MEGARA  (Hercules  Furens),  daugh- 
ter of  Creon,  king  of  Thebes, 
wife  of  Hercules,  H.  Fur.  202  ; 
laments  her  husband's  constant 
absence  from  home,  ibid.  *205  ; 
scorns  the  advances  of  Lycus, 
ibid.  *372  ;  slain  by  her  husband 
in  a  nt  of  madness  brought  on 
by  Juno,  ibid.  1010  ;  H.  Oet.  429, 
903,  1452 

MELEAGER,  son  of  Oeneus,  king  of 
Calydon,  and  Althaea  ;  his  tragic 
death  caused  by  his  mother's 
wrath  because  he  had  killed  her 
brothers,  Med.  644,  779.  See 
ALTHAEA 

MELICERTA,  see  INO 

MEMNON,  son  of  Aurora,  slain  by 
Achilles,  Tro.  10,  239 ;  Agam. 
212 

MENELIUS,  son  of  Atreus,  brother 
of  Agamemnon,  husband  of  Helen, 
king  of  Sparta,  employed  by  his 
father  to  trick  his  uncle,  Thyestes, 
Thy.  327  ;  Helen  looks  forward 
with  fear  to  his  judgment,  Tro. 
923 ;  pardoned  Helen  for  her 
desertion  of  him,  Agam.  273 

MEROPE,  wife  of  Polybus,  king  of 
Corinth ;  adopted  Oedipus  and 
reared  him  to  manhood  as  her 
own  child,  Oed.  272,  661,  802 

MESSALINA,  wife  of  Claudius, 
mother  of  Octavia,  Oct.  10 ; 
cursed  by  Venus  with  insatiate 
lust,  ibid.  258 ;  openly  married 
Silius  in  the  absence  of  Claudius, 
ibid.  *26p  ;  slain  for  this  by  order 
of  Claudius,  ibid.  265  ;  her  death, 
ibid.  *974 

MIMAS,  one  of  the  giants,  H.  Fur. 
981.  See  GIANTS 

MINOS,    son    of    Jupiter,    king   of 
Crete  ;  father  of   Phaedra,  Uip 
1 49  ;  father  of  Ariadne,  ibid.  245  ; 


powerful  monarch,  ibid.  149  ;  no 
daughter  of  Minos  loved  without 
sin,  ibid.  127  ;  because  of  his 
righteousness  on  earth,  made  a 
judge  in  Hades,  Agam.  24  ;  Thy. 
23  ;  H.  Fur.  733.  See  JUDGES  IN 
HADES 

MINOTAUR,  hybrid  monster,  born 
of  the  union  of  Pasiphae,  wife 
of  Minos,  and  a  bull ;  called 
brother  of  Phaedra,  Hip.  174 ; 
confined  in  the  labyrinth  in 
Crete,  ibid.  649,  1171 

MOPSUS,  Thessalian  soothsayer, 
Argonaut,  killed  by  the  bite  of  a 
serpent  in  Libya,  Med.  655 

MULCIHER,  name  of  Vulcan.  Gave 
to  Medea  sulphurous  fires  for  her 
magic,  Med.  824 

MYCALE,  witch  of  Thessaly,  H.  Oet. 
525 

MYCENAE,  city  of  Argolis  ;  its  walls 
built  by  the  Cyclopes,  Thy.  407  ; 
H.  Fur.  997  ;  ruled  by  the  house 
of  Pelops,  Thy.  188,  561,  1011; 
Tro.  855  ;  favourite  city  of  Juno, 
Agam.  351  ;  home  of  Agamemnon, 
ibid.  121,  251,  757,  871,  967, 
998  ;  Tro.  156,  245 

MYRRHA,  daughter  of  Cinyras ; 
conceived  an  unnatural  passion 
for  her  father.  Pursued  by  him, 
she  was  changed  into"  the  myrrh 
tree,  whose  exuding  gum  resem- 
bles tears,  H.  Oet.  196 

MYRTILUS,  son  of  Mercury,  chariot- 
eer of  Oenomaiis.  Bribed  by 
Pelops,  suitor  of  Hippodamia, 
daughter  of  Oenomaiis,  he  secret- 
ly withdrew  the  linch-pins  of  his 
master's  chariot,  thus  wrecking 
his  master's  car  in  the  race  which 
was  to  decide  the  success  of 
Pelops'  suit.  His  sin  and  fate, 
Thy.  140 ;  the  wrecked  chariot 
preserved  as  a  trophy  in  palace 
of  Pelopidae,  ibid.  660 


N  AIDES,  deities,  generally  conceived 
as  young  and  beautiful  maidens, 
inhabiting  brooks  and  springs. 
Hip.  780.  See  HYLAS 

NAUPLIUS,  son  of  Neptune,  king 
of  Euboea ;  to  avenge  death  of 

531 


INDEX 


his  son,  Palainedes,  lured  the 
Greek  fleet  to  destruction  by 
displaying  false  beacon  fires  off 
Euboea,  Agam.  *567 ;  when 
Ulysses,  whom  he  hated  most, 
escaped,  threw  himself  from  the 
cliff,  M ed.  659.  See  PALAMEDES 

NECROMANT!A,  necromancy.  Prac- 
tised by  Tiresias  in  order  to 
discover  Laius'  murderer,  Oed. 
**530 

NEMEAN  LION,  slain  by  Hercules 
near  Nemea,  a  city  of  Argolis, 
first  of  his  twelve  labours,  Agam 
830  ;  H.  Fur.  224  ;  H.  Oet.  1193, 
1235,  1665,  1885;  set  hi  the 
heavens  as  a  zodiacal  constella- 
tion, Oed.  40.  See  LEO 

NEPHELE,  cloud  form  of  Juno, 
devised  by  Jupiter,  upon  which 
Ixion  begot  the  centaur  Nessus, 
in  the  belief  that  it  was  Juno 
herself,  H.  OeL.  492 

NEPTUNE,  son  of  Saturn,  brother  of 
Jupiter  and  Pluto,  with  whom, 
after  the  dethronement  of  Saturn, 
he  cast  lots  for  the  three  great 
divisions  of  his  father's  realm : 
the  second  lot,  giving  him  the 
sovereignty  over  the  sea,  fell  to 
Neptune,  Med.  4,  597  :  H.  Fur. 
615,  599;  Oed.  266;  Hip.  904, 
1159  ;  rides  over  the  sea  hi  his 
car,  Oed.  254 ;  sends  a  monster 
to  destroy  Hippolytus  in  answer 
to  Theseus'  prayer,  Hip.  1015 ; 
assists  Minerva  to  destroy  Ajax, 
son  of  Olleus,  hi  the  storm  which 
assailed  the  Greek  fleet,  Agam. 
554  ;  father  of  Theseus,  to  whom 
he  gave  three  wishes,  ibid.  942; 
other  sons  were  Cycnus,  Agam. 
215:  Tro.  183;  Periclymenus, 
Med.  635 

NEREUS,  sea-deity,  used  often  for 
the  sea  itself,  Oed.  450.  508 ; 
H.  Oet.  4 ;  Hip.  88  ;  father  by 
Doris  of  Thetis  and  the  other 
Nereids,  Tro.  882;  Oed.  446; 
even  they  feel  the  fires  of  love, 
Hip.  336 

NERO  (Octavia),  son  of  Cn. 
Domitius  Ahenobarbus  and  Agrip- 
pina,  Oct.  249  ;  married  his  step- 
sister, Octavia,  whom  he  treated 
with  great  cruelty  ;  his  character 
depicted  by  her,  ibid.  86 ;  em- 

532 


peror  from  A.D.  54  until  his  death 
in  68  ;  murdered  his  mother,  ibid. 
46,  95,  243 ;  lauds  beauty  of 
Poppaea  and  proclaims  her  his 
next  wife,  ibid.  544  ;  his  death 
prophesied  by  ghost  of  Agrippina, 
ibid.  **618  ;  decrees  banishment 
and  death  of  Octavia,  ibid.  861 

NESSUS,  centaur,  son  of  Ixion  and 
Nephele,  H.  Oet.  492 ;  insults 
Deianira,  is  slain  by  Hercules ; 
dying  gives  his  blood,  poisoned 
by  the  arrow  of  Hercules,  to 
Deianira  as  a  charm  which  shall 
recall  her  husband's  wandering 
affections,  ibid.  *500 ;  some  of 
this  blood  is  in  Medea's  collection 
of  charms,  Med.  775  ;  the  power 
of  this  blood  tested  by  Deianira 
after  she  has  sent  the  fatal  robe 
to  Hercules,  H.  Oet.  716;  Nessus 
conceived  the  plot  against  Her- 
cules, Deianira  the  innocent 
instrument,  ibid.  1468 

NIOBE,  daughter  of  Tantalus,  wife 
of  Amphion,  king  of  Thebes ; 
punished  by  the  loss  of  her  seven 
sons  and  seven  daughters  by 
Diana  for  her  defiance  of  Latona, 
mother  of  the  goddess,  Agam. 
392 ;  changed  to  stone,  she  still 
sits  on  Mt.  Sipylus  and  mourns 
her  children,  Agam.  394  ;  H.  Fur. 
390  ;  H.  Oet.  185, 1849  ;  her  shade 
comes  up  from  Hades,  still 
proudly  counting  her  children's 
shades,  Oed.  613 

NYCTELIUS.  epithet  of  Bacchus, 
because  his  mysteries  were  cele- 
brated at  night,  Oed.  492 


O 


OCTAVIA  (Octavia),  daughter  of 
the  Emperor  Claudius  and  Mes- 
salina.  Oct.  10,  26,  45  ;  became 
first  the  stepsister  and  then  the 
wife  of  Nero,  ibid.  47 ;  with 
whom  she  led  a  most  wretched 
life,  ibid.  *100;  had  been  be- 
trothed to  Silanus,  ibid.  145,  who 
was  murdered  to  make  way  for 
Nero,  ibid.  154  ;  beloved  by  her 
people,  ibid.  183 ;  is  compared 
with  Juno,  sister  and  wife  of 
her  husband,  ibid.  282 ;  doomed 


INDEX 


by  Nero  to  exile  and  death,  ibid. 
868 ;  banished  to  Pandataria, 
ibid.  971 

ODRYSIAN  HOUSE,  of  the  Thracian 
king,  Tereus,  polluted  by  the 
banquet  in  which  Tereus'  son 
was  served  up  to  him,  Thy.  273 

OEDIPUS    (Oedipus,    Phoenissae), 
king  of  Thebes,  son  of  Jocasta 
and     Lalus.        An    oracle    had 
declared  that  Lalus  should  meet 
death  at  the  hands  of  his  son. 
Oedipus  was  accordingly  to  be 
slain    Oed.  34,  235  ;  Phoen.  243  ; 
at     birth     was     exposed     upon 
Cithaeron,  ibid.  13,  *27,  with  an 
iron    rod    through    his    ankles, 
ibid.  254;  Oed.  857;   by  a  shep- 
nerd  was  given  to  Merope,  wife 
of    the     king    of     Corinth,     by 
whom    he    was   brought    up    as 
her  own  son,  ibid.  806;    grown 
to   manhood,   fled   the    kingdom 
of    his    supposed    parents    that 
he   might    not    fulfil    an   oracle 
that  had  come  to  him,  that  he 
should  kill  his  father  and   wed 
his  mother,  ibid.  12,  263  ;  in  the 
course  of  his  flight  met  and  killed 
Lalus,  his  real  father,  Phoen.  166, 
260  ;  Oed.  768,  782 ;  solved  the 
riddle  of  the  Sphinx,  and  so  saved 
Thebes   from   that   pest,   Phoen. 
120  ;  Oed.  *92,  216 ;  as  a  reward 
for    this    gained   the    throne   of 
Thebes,  and  Jocasta  (his  mother) 
as  his  wife,  Oed.  104 ;  Phoen.  50, 
262;    Oed.   386;   fl.   Fur.   388; 
attempts  to  find  out  the  murderer 
of  Lalus,  and  utters  a  curse  upon 
the     unknown     criminal,     ibid. 
•257  ;  declared  by  the  ghost  of 
Lalus,  which  Tiresias  had  raised, 
to  be  his  father's  murderer  and 
bJs  mother's  husband,  ibid.  *634; 
refutes  this  charge  by  the  asser- 
tion that  his  father  and  mother 
are  still  living  in  Corinth,  ibid. 
661 ;   learns  by  messenger  that 
Polybus  and  Merope  are  not  his 
true  parents,  ibid.   784 ;  rushes 
on  his  fate  and  forces  old  Phorbas 
to  reveal  the  secret  of  his  birth, 
ibid.  *848 ;  in  a  frenzy  of  grief 
digs  out  his  eyes.  ibid.  915  ;  goes 
into  exile,  thus  lifting  the  curse 
from  Thebes,  ibid.  1042  ;  Phoen 


104  ;  begs  Antigone,  who  alone 

had  followed  him,  to  leave  him, 

bewailing   his  fate  and  longing 

for  death,  ibid.  1 
OQYQES,  mythical  founder  and  king 

of  Thebes  ;  hence — 
OGYGIAN,   i.e.   Theban,  epithet  of 

Bacchus,   whose    mother   was   a 

Theban,  Oed.  437  ;  epithet  of  the 

Thebans,  ibid.  589 
OlLEUS,  used  instead  of  his  son, 

Ajax,  Med.  662.    See  AJAX 
OLENUS,  city  in  Aetolia,  Tro.  826  ; 

Oed.  283  ;  hence — 
OiENiAN    GOAT,   nurtured   in   the 

vicinity    of    this    place.        See 

AMALTHEA 
OMPHALE,  queen  of  Lydia,  to  whose 

service    Hercules   submitted    for 

three  years,  H    Oet.  *371,  573  ; 

H.   Fur.   465;   Hip.   317       See 

HERCULES 
OPHION,  one  of  the  companions  of 

Cadmus,   sprung   from   the   ser- 

Sent's  teeth  ;  in  adjectival  form, 
;  means  simply  Theban,  H.  Fur. 
268  ;  referring  to  Pentheus,  Oed. 
485. 

OPHIUCHUS,  the  northern  constella- 
tion of  the  "  Serpent  Holder," 
Med.  698 

ORESTES  (Agamemnon),  son  of 
Agamemnon  and  Clytemnestra, 
Agam.  196  ;  Tro.  555 ;  saved  by 
his  sister,  through  the  agency  of 
Strophius,  king  of  Phocis,  from 
death  at  the  hands  of  his  mother 
and  Aegisthus,  Agam.  910 ; 
avenged  his  father's  murder, 
Oct.  62  ;  Agam.  1012  n. 

ORION,  said  to  have  been  miracu- 
lously generated  by  Jupiter, 
Neptune,  and  Mercury  out  of  an 
ox's  hide  ;  set  as  a  constellation 
in  the  heavens,  where  his  glitter- 
ing sword  menaces  the  heavenly 
ones,  H.  Fur  12 

ORPHEUS,  son  of  Apollo  and  the 
muse  Calliope,  Med.  625 ;  king 
of  Thrace ;  Argonaut ;  sweet 
singer  and  harper,  whose  music 
could  draw  to  him  rocks  and 
trees,  ibid.  228;  H.  Oet.  *1036; 
dropped  his  lyre  in  fear  of  the 
Symplegades,  Med.  348 ;  played 
so  sweetly  that  the  Argonauts 
were  not  enchanted  by  the  Sirens, 

533 


INDEX 


ibid.  *355 ;  went  to  Hades  in 
search  of  his  wife,  Eurydice,  and 
by  the  charm  of  his  music 
persuaded  the  nether  gods  to 
release  her ;  lost  her  again, 
because  he  did  not  keep  the  con- 
dition imposed  upon  him,  H. 
Fur.  **569;  H.  Oet.  *1061; 
M ed.  632  ;  sang  that  nothing  is 
everlasting,  H.  Oet.  1035,  1100; 
his  death  at  the  hands  of 
the  Thracian  women,  Med.  *625 


PACTOLUS,  river  of  Lydia,  cele- 
brated for  its  golden  sands, 
Phoen.  604  ;  Oed.  467 

PAEAN,  appellation  of  Apollo,  who 
gained  the  oracle  at  Delphi  and 
earned  a  place  in  heaven  by 
slaving  the  Python,  H.  Oet.  92 

PALAEMON,  once  a  mortal,  called 
Helicerta,  son  of  Athamas  and 
Ino,  changed  by  Neptune  into  a 
sea-divinity,  Oed.  448.  See  INO 

PALAMEDES,  son  of  Nauplius,  king 
of  Euboea  ;  put  to  death  by  the 
Greeks  on  false  charges  brought 
by  Ulysses ;  avenged  by  his 
father,  who  displayed  false  lights 
to  the  Greek  fleet,  Agam.  568 
ALLAS,  appellation  of  Minerva. 
Friend  and  helper  of  Hercules  in 
his  labours,  H.  Fur.  900  ;  bearer 
of  aegis  upon  which  was  Medusa's 
head,  ibid.  902 ;  Agam.  530  ; 
patroness  of  woman's  handi- 
crafts, Hip.  103  ;  patron  goddess 
of  Athenians,  ibid.  109,  1149; 
helps  to  overthrow  Troy,  Agam. 
370  ;  stirs  up  storm  against  the 
Greek  ships,  ibid.  529 ;  with 
Jove's  thunderbolt  destroys  Ajax, 
son  of  Oileus,  ibid.  *532 ;  hymn 
in  praise  of,  ibid.  368-81  ;  helped 
build  the  Argo,  Med.  2,  365 

PANDATARIA,  lonely  island  near 
Italy,  Oct.  972 

PANDION,  mythical  king  of  Athens, 
father  of  Procne  and  Philomela, 
who  were  changed  to  birds,  0  t.  8 

PARCAE,  the  three  Fates,  who  spin 
out  the  threads  of  human  life. 
H.  Fur.  181,  559.  See  CLOTHO 
and  LAOUESIS 

534 


PARIS,  son  of  Priam  and  Hecnba 
Doomed  to  destroy  Troy,  Tro. 
36  ;  exposed  to  die  on  Ida,  but 
preserved  by  shepherds  and 
brought  up  in  ignorance  of  his 
parentage,  Agam.  733  ;  "  judg- 
ment of  Paris,"  Tro.  66,  920 ; 
Agam.  *730  ;  abducts  Helen,  Tro. 
70  ;  slays  Achilles,  ibid.  347,  956 

PARRHASIAN  (i.e.  Arcadian)  hind, 
captured  by  Hercules,  his  third 
labour,  Agam.  831  ;  bear,  Hip. 
288 ;  axis  (i.e.  Northern),  H. 
Oet.  1281 

PASIPIIAE,  daughter  of  the  Sun  and 
Persels,  wife  of  Minos,  king  of 
Crete  ;  her  unnatural  passion  for 
a  bull,  Hip.  113,  143  ;  mother  of 
the  Minotaur,  ibid.  *688 

PATROCLUS,  Greek  chief  before 
Troy,  friend  of  Achilles  ;  fought 
in  Achilles'  armour,  Agam.  617 ; 
slain  by  Hector.  Tro.  446 

PEGASUS,  winged  horse,  offspring  of 
Neptune  and  Medusa,  Tro.  385 

PELBOS,  son  of  Aeacus,  and  king  of 
Thessaly ;  married  the  sea-god- 
dess Thetis,  Oct.  708  ;  Med.  657  ; 
father  of  Achilles,  Tro.  247,  882 ; 
Agam.  616;  Argonaut,  died  in 
exile,  Med.  657 

PELIAS,  usurper  of  throne  of  lol- 
chos,  whence  he  drove  Aeson, 
father  of  Jason.  Proposed  Ar- 
gonautic  expedition,  wherefore 
was  doomed  to  suffer  violent 
death,  Med.  664  ;  his  daughters, 
tricked  by  Medea?  cut  him  in 
pieces  and  boiled  him  in  order  to 
rejuvenate  him,  Med.  133,  201, 
258,  475,  913 

PELION,  mountain  range  in  Thes- 
saly ;  the  giants  piled  Pelion 
upon  Ossa  and  Olympus  in 
attempt  to  scale  heaven,  H.  Fur. 
971;  Tro.  829;  Agam.  *346 ; 
Thy.  812  ;  H.  Oet.  1152  ;  home  of 
Chiron,  who  educated  Achilles, 
H.  Fur.  971;  Tro.  *830 ;  fur- 
nished Argo's  timbers,  Med.  609 

PELOPIA,  daughter  of  Tliyestes 
became  by  him  mother  of 
Aegisthus,  Agam.  30,  294 

PKLOPS,  was  slain  by  his  father, 
Tantalus,  and  served  as  a  banquet 
to  the  gods,  Thy.  *144  ;  restored 
to  life,  and  Tantalus  punished 


INDEX 


(see  TANTALUS)  ;  Pelops  and 
Tantalus,  ibid.  242 ;  his  house 
doomed  to  sin,  ibid.  22  ;  degener- 
ate, ibid.  625 ;  came  from 
Phrygia  and  settled  Pelopon- 
nesus (whence  its  name),  H.  Fur 
1165  ;  Tro.  855  ;  Agam.  563  ;  his 
palace,  Thy.  *641 

PELORUS,  promontory  of  Sicily 
opposite  Italy,  H.  Oet.  81 ; 
Scylla  dwelt  under  it,  Med.  350 

PENTHESILEA,  queen  of  Amazons, 
came  to  aid  Priam  ;  armed  with 
battle-axe  and  moon -shaped 
shield,  Agam.  217  ;  her  struggles 
in  battle,  Tro.  12,  672  ;  slain  by 
Achilles,  ibid.  243 

PENTHEUS,  king  of  Thebes,  son  of 
Echion  and  Agave ;  opposed 
worship  of  Bacchus  ;  spying  upon 
his  mother  and  her  sisters,  was 
torn  in  pieces  by  them  in  their 
Bacchic  madness,  Phoen.  15, 
363  ;  Oed.  441,  483  ;  his  shade 
comes  up  from  Hades,  ibid.  618 

PERICLYMENUS,  son  of  Neptune, 
who  could  assume  various  shapes; 
Argonaut,  slain  by  Hercules, 
Med.  635 

PERSEUS,  son  of  DanaS  and  Jove, 
H.  Fur.  13 ;  earned  a  place  in 
heaven  by  slaying  the  Gorgon, 
H.  Oet.  51,  94 

PHAEDRA  (Hippolytus  or  Phae- 
dra), daughter  of  Minos,  king  of 
Crete,  and  Pasiphae,  daughter  of 
the  Sun,  Hip.  155,  156,  678,  688, 
888  ;  sister  of  the  Minotaur,  ibid. 
174 ;  of  Ariadne,  ibid.  245,  760  ; 
bewails  her  exile  from  Crete,  and 
her  marriage  to  Theseus,  ibid. 
85 ;  her  unnatural  passion  for 
Hippolytus,  ibid.  113,  640 ;  is 
scorned  by  him,  ibid.  *671  ; 
confesses  her  sin  to  her  husband 
and  slays  herself,  ibid.  1159 

PHAETHON,  son  of  Clymene  and 
Phoebus ;  driving  his  father's 
chariot,  was  hurled  from  the  car, 
Hip.  1090 ;  slain  by  Jove's 
thunderbolt,  H.  Oet.  854 ;  a 
warning  against  ambition  and 
impious  daring,  ibid.  677  ;  Med. 
599  ;  gave  magic  fire  to  Medea, 
ibid.  826 

PHAETHONTIADES,  sisters  of  Phae- 
thon  wept  for  him  on  the  banks 


of  the  Po,  and  were  changed  into 
poplar  trees,  H.  Oet.  188 

PHASIS,  river  of  Colchis,  Med.  44, 
211,  451,  762  ;  Hip.  907  ;  Agam. 
120 ;  Medea  named  from  the 
river,  H.  Oet.  950 

PHERAK,  city  in  Thessaly,  ruled 
over  by  Admetus,  husband  of 
Alccstis,  Med.  663  ;  here  Apollo 
kept  Admetus'  flocks,  H.  Fur. 
451 

PHILOCTETES  (Hercules  Oetaeus), 
Thessalian  prince,  son  of  Poeas, 
friend  of  Hercules,  H.  Oet.  1604  ; 
receives  bow  and  arrows  of 
Hercules,  ibid.  1648,  to  whose 
pyre  he  applies  the  torch,  ibid. 
1727;  describes  death  of  Hercules, 
ibid.  *1610 ;  Hercules'  arrows 
used  a  second  time  against  Troy, 
Tro.  136  and  note 

PHILIPPI,  city  of  Thrace;  there 
Antony  and  Octavianus  con- 
quered forces  of  Brutus  and 
Cassius,  Oct.  516 

PHILOMELA,  daughter  of  Pandion, 
king  of  Athens,  sister  of  Procne, 
who  had  married  Tereus,  king  of 
Thrace  ;  outraged  by  Tereus,  she 
and  Procne  punished  Tereus  by 
slaying  and  serving  to  him  his 
son  Itys  ;  she  was  changed  into  a 
nightingale,  who  ever  mourns 
for  Itys,  Agam.  670 ;  H.  Oet. 
199  ;  Thracia  pellex,  used  simply 
as  a  nightingale  singing  at  sunrise 
and  hovering  over  her  young, 
H.  Fur  149 

PHINEUS,  king  of  Salmydessus  in 
Thrace  ;  blind  and  tormented  by 
the  Harpies,  Thy.  154  ;  tormented 
in  Hades,  H.  Fur.  759 

PHLEQETHON,  fiery  river  in  the 
lower  world,  Oed.  162 ;  Thy.  73, 
1018  ;  encircles  the  guilty,  Hip. 
1227 ;  the  river  over  which 
Charon  rows  his  boat,  Agam. 
753 ;  for  Hades  in  general.  Hip. 
848 

PHLEQRA,  vale  in  Thrace  where  the 
giants  fought  with  the  gods,  Thy. 
810  ;  Hercules  assisted  the  gods, 
H.  Fur.  444 

PHOEBUS,  one  of  Apollo's  names ; 
most  frequently  conceived  of  as 
the  sun-god,  driving  his  fiery 
chariot  across  the  sky,  seeing  all 

535 


INDEX 


things,  darkening  his  face  or 
withdrawing  from  the  sky  at 
sight  of  monstrous  sin,  lord  of  the 
changing  seasons,  etc.,  H.  Fur. 
595,  607,  844,  940  ;  Phoen.  87  ; 
Med.  728,  874;  Hip.  889;  Oed. 
250;  Agam.  42,  816;  Thy.  776, 
789,  838;  H.  Oet.  2,  680,  792, 
1387,  1439,  1442 ;  his  sister  is 
Luna,  or  Phoebe,  H.  Fur.  905  ; 
Med.  86;  Hip.  311;  Oed.  44; 
the  name  frequently  used  of  the 
sun,  its  light,  its  heat,  etc.,  H. 
Fur  25,  940;  Tro.  1140;  Med. 
298,  768;  Oed.  122,  540,  545; 
Agam.  463,  577  ;  Thy.  602  ;  H. 
Oet.  41,  337,  666,  688,  727,  1022, 
1581,  1624,  1699;  intimately 
concerned  in  the  affairs  of  men  ; 
is  grandfather  of  Medea,  Med. 
512 ;  father  of  Pasiphae",  Hip. 
126,  154,  654,  889  ;  lover  and 
inspirer  of  Cassandra,  Tro.  978 ; 
Agam.  255, 722  ;  god  of  prophecy, 
giving  oracles  to  mortals,  Med. 
86  ;  Oed.  20,  34,  214,  222,  225, 
231,  235,  269,  288,  291,  296,  719, 
1046  ;  Agam.  255,  294,  295  ;  god 
of  the  lyre,  H.  Fur.  906  ;  Oed. 
498  ;  Agam.  327  ;  of  the  bow,  H. 
Fur.  454  ;  Hip.  192  ;  Agam.  327, 
549  ;  his  tree  is  the  laurel,  Oed. 
228,  453:  Agam.  588;  Cilia  is 
dear  to  him,  Tro.  227  ;  beautiful 
god  of  flowing  locks.  Hip.  800  ; 
worshipped  as  Smintheus,  Agam. 
176  ;  hymn  in  praise  of,  ibid.  310  ; 
slew  Python,  H.  Fur.  454 ; 
exposed  the  shame  of  Venus, 
whence  her  wrath  is  upon  his 
descendants,  Hip.  126 :  kept 
flocks  of  Admetus.  king  of 
Pherae,  for  a  year,  ibid.  296 

PHORBAS  (Oedipus),  old  man, 
head  shepherd  of  the  royal  flocks, 
tells  the  secret  of  Oedipus'  birth. 
Oed.  867 

PHRIXUS.  son  of  Athamas  and 
Nephele,  brother  of  Helle ;  per- 
secuted by  his  stepmother,  Ino, 
fled  through  the  air  with  Helle 
upon  a  golden-fleeced  ram  ob- 
tained from  Mercury,  Tro.  1034  ; 
Helle  fell  into  the  sea  (Hellespont), 
H.  Oet.  776  ;  Aegean  Sea  is  called 
Phrixian  Sea.  Agam.  565 ;  H. 
Oet.  776  ;  Phrixus  fared  on  alone 

536 


to  Colchis,  where  he  sacrificed  the 
ram  and  presented  to  Aeetes  its 
golden  fleece,  which  was  the 
object  of  the  Argonauts'  quest 
Med.  361,  471 

PIRITHOUS.  son  of  Ixion,  Hip.  1235  ; 
friend  of  Theseus;  with  Theseus 
attempted  to  steal  Proserpina 
from  Hades,  ibid.  94,  244,  831 

PISA,  city  of  Elis  where  the  Olympic 
games  were  held,  H.  Fur.  840; 
Thy.  123 ;  Agam.  938 

PISCES,  zodiacal  constellation  of 
the  Fish,  Thy.  866 

PLEIADES,  called  also  Atlantides. 
the  seven  daughters  of  Atlas  and 
Pleione,  three  of  whom,  Electra. 
Maia,  and  Taygete,  were  beloved 
of  Jove?  H.  Fur.  10  ;  a  constella- 
tion which  pales  before  the  moon, 
Med.  96 

PLISTHENES,  son  of  Thyestes,  slain 
by  Atreus,  Thy.  726 

PLUTO,  brother  of  Jupiter  and  Nep- 
tune, lord  of  the  underworld, 
H.  Fur.  560,  658  ;  Oed.  256,  869  ; 
Med.  11  ;  Hip.  625,  1240 ;  H. 
Oet.  559,  935,  938,  1142,  1369, 
1954 ;  "  grim  Jove,"  H.  Fur. 
608;  "  dark  Jove,"  H.  Oet.  1705; 
obtained  his  kingdom  by  drawing 
lots  with  his  two  brothers,  H. 
Fur.  833  ;  his  wife  is  Proserpina, 
ibid.  658  ;  Theseus  and  Pirithoiis 
try  to  steal  his  wife,  Hip.  95,  are 
punished,  ibid.  625 ;  Hercules 
prevails  upon  him  to  give  up 
Cerberus,  H.  Fur.  805;  H.  Oet. 
550  ;  gives  up  Theseus  to  Her- 
cules, H.  Fur.  805;  Hip.  1152; 
uncle  of  Hercules,  H.  Oet.  328 ; 
and  of  Pallas,  Hip.  1152 ;  un- 
moved by  tears,  H  Fur.  578  ; 
conquered  by  Orpheus'  music, 
ibid.  582 ;  his  court  and  appear- 
ance, ibid.  *721  ;  wounded  by 
Hercules,  H.  Fur.  660 

POLLUX,  see  CASTOR 

POLYBUS,  king  of  Corinth,  adopted 
Oedipus,  Oed.  12,  270  ;  his  death 
announced,  ibid  784 

POLYN1CES  (Phoenissae),  son  of 
Oedipus  and  Jocasta  ;  cheated  of 
the  throne  of  Thebes  by  his 
brother  Eteocles,  fled  to  Adrastus, 
king  of  Argos,  who  made  him  his 
son-in-law.  To  avenge  Polynices, 


INDEX 


Adrastus  marched  against  Thebes 
with  an  army  headed  by  seven 
chiefs,  Phoen.  58,  320  ;  Oedipus 
foretells  this  fraternal  strife  and 
the  death  of  both,  ibid.  273,  334, 
855;  Polynioes  remains  at  court  of 
Adrastus  three  years,  ibid.  370, 
*502;  hardships  of  his  exile,  ibid. 
*586 ;  appears  before  walls  of 
Thebes,  ibid.  387  ;  Jocasta  ap- 
peals to  her  sons,  ibid.  434.  See 
ETEOCLES 

POLYXENA,  daughter  of  Priam  and 
Hecuba ;  the  ghost  of  Achilles, 
who  had  been  enamoured  of  her, 
appears  to  the  Greeks  and  de- 
mands her  sacrifice  on  Achilles' 
tomb,  Tro.  170 ;  Calchas  ratifies 
her  doom,  ibid.  360;  Helen 
announces  this  fate  to  her,  and 
she  receives  it  with  joy,  ibid. 
945 ;  her  death  described,  ibid. 
•1117  ;  leads  in  dance  about  the 
wooden  horse,  unconscious  of 
her  approaching  doom,  Agam. 
641 

POPPAEA  (Octavia),  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  and  unscrupulous 
women  of  her  time ;  was  first 
married  to  Rufus  Crispin  us, 
pretorian  prefect  under  Claudius  ; 
abandoned  him  for  Otho,  and 
him,  in  turn,  she  left  to  become 
mistress  of  Nero,  rival  of  Nero's 
wife,  Octavia,  Oct.  125;  influenced 
Nero  to  murder  his  mother, 
ibid.  126 ;  demanded  Octavia's 
death,  ibid.  131 ;  with  child  by 
Nero.  ibid.  188,  591 ;  her  rejection 
by  Nero  prophesied,  ibid.  193  ; 
her  beauty  lauded  by  Nero,  ibid. 
644 ;  her  wedding  with  Nero 
cursed  by  Agrippina's  ghost,  ibid. 
595  ;  her  marriage,  ibid.  *698  ; 
is  terrified  by  a  dream,  ibid. 
*712 

PRIAM,  king  of  Troy  ;  in  his  youth, 
at  the  first  taking  of  Troy,  was 
spared  by  Hercules  and  allowed 
to  retain  throne,  Tro.  719 ; 
views  contending  hosts  from 
battlements  of  Troy  in  company 
with  Astyanax,  ibid.  *1068; 
sues  to  Achilles  for  body  of 
Hector,  ibid.  315,  324  ;  his  city 
destroyed  through  power  of  love. 
Oct.  817  ;  his  death  at  Pyrrhus* 


hands,  Tro  *44 ;  Agam.  655  : 
fell  before  altar  of  Hercean  Jove, 
Agam.  448,  792 ;  his  death  and 
former  greatness,  Tro.  140 

PROCNE,  daughter  of  Pandion,  wife 
of  Tereus,  king  of  Thrace ;  in 
revenge  for  Tereus'  outrage  upon 
her  sister,  Philomela,  served  to 
him  his  sou,  Itys,  H.  Oet.  192, 
953  ;  Agam.  673  ;  Thy.  275 

PROCRUSTES,  robber  of  Attica, 
killed  by  Theseus,  Hip.  1170  ; 
Thy.  1050 

PROETIDES,  daughters  of  Proetus, 
king  of  Argolis ;  counted  them- 
selves more  beautiful  than  Juno, 
and  refused  to  worship  Bacchus. 
Made  mad  by  Bacchus,  they 
thought  themselves  cows  and 
wandered  through  the  woods. 
Bacchus  thus  won  favour  of 
Juno  Oed.  486 

PROMETHEUS,  son  of  lapetus  and 
Clymene  ;  gave  fire  to  mortals, 
Med.  821  ;  for  this  was  bound  by 
Jove's  command  to  a  crag  of 
Caucasus,  where  an  eagle  fed 
upon  his  ever-renewed  vitals, 
H.  Fur.  1206  ;  Med.  709  ;  H.  Oet. 
1378 

PROSERPINA,  daughter  of  Ceres  and 
Jupiter ;  stolen  away  by  Pluto 
and  made  his  queen  in  Hades, 
Med.  12;  H.  Fur.  1105;  was 
sought  in  vain  by  her  mother, 
ibid.  659:  Pirithoiis  and  Theseus 
attempt  to  steal  her  away  from 
lower  world,  Hip.  95 

PROTEUS,  son  of  Oceanus  and 
Tethys,  shepherd  and  guardian 
of  the  sea-calves.  Hip.  1205 

PYLADES,  son  of  Strophius,  king  of 
Phocis,  one  of  Agamemnon's 
sisters ;  accompanied  his  father 
as  charioteer  when  Strophius 
visited  Argos  just  after  Agamem- 
non's murder  ;  they  take  Orestes 
away  and  so  save  him  from  death, 
Agam.  940 

PYROMANTIA,  soothsaying  by  means 
of  fire,  practised  by  Tiresias  in 
his  effort  to  discover  Laius' 
murderer,  Oed.  *307 

PYRRHA.  sister  of  Deucalion,  saved 
with  him  from  the  flood,  Tro. 
1038.  See  DEUCALION 

PYRRHUS  (Troades),  son  of  Achil- 

537 


INDEX 


les  and  Deklamia,  daughter  of 
Lycomedes,  king  of  Scyros  ;  bora 
on  island  of  Scyros,  Tro.  339  ; 
quarrelled  with  Ulysses  inside 
the  wooden  horse,  Agam.  635 ; 
slew  old  Priam,  Tro.  44,  310 
PYTHON,  huge  serpent  that  sprang 
from  the  slime  of  the  earth  when 
the  flood  subsided ;  slain  by 
Apollo,  H.  OeL  93  ;  Med.  700 


RHADAMANTHUS,  son  of  Jupiter  and 
Europa,  brother  of  Minos  ;  was 
made  one  of  three  judges  in 
Hades,  H.  Fur.  734 

RHESUS,  king  of  Thrace,  who  came, 
late  in  Trojan  War,  to  Priam's 
aid  ;  oracle  that  Troy  could  never 
be  taken  if  horses  of  Rhesus 
should  drink  of  the  Xanthus  and 
feed  upon  grass  of  Trojan  plain 
was  frustrated  by  Ulysses  and 
Diomedes,  Agam.  216  ;  Tro.  8 


S 


SATURN,  son  of  Coelus  and  Terra, 
succeeded  to  his  father's  kingdom 
of  heaven  and  earth  ;  golden  age 
was  said  to  have  been  ia  his  reign, 
Oct.  395  ;  dethroned  by  his  three 
sons,  Jupiter,  Neptune,  and 
Pluto,  who  divided  up  his 
kingdom  ;  kept  chained  in  Hades 
by  Pluto,  E.  Oet.  1141  ;  Hercules 
threatens  to  unchain  him  against 
Jove  unless  the  latter  grant  him 
a  place  in  heaven,  H.  Fur.  965 

SCALES  (Libra),  zodiacal  constel- 
lation marking  the  autumnal 
equinox,  H.  Fur.  842 

SCIKON,  robber  in  Attica,  who  threw 
his  victims  over  cliffs  into  sea  ; 
was  slain  by  Theseus,  Hip.  1023, 
1225 

SCORPION,  one  of  the  zodiacal  con- 
stellations, Thy.  859 

SCYLLA,  one  of  the  two  shipwreck- 
ing monsters  in  Sicilian  Strait, 
E.  Fur.  376  ;  H.  Oet.  235  ;  Med. 
350,  407  ;  Thy  579.  See  CHARYB- 
DIS 

538 


SOYTHIA,  a  portion  of  northern 
Asia  of  indefinite  extent ;  its 
nomadic  tribes,  frozen  streams, 
H.  Fur.  *533 

SEMELE,  Theban  princess,  daughter 
of  Cadmus,  beloved  of  Jove,  by 
whom  she  became  mother  of 
Bacchus,  H.  Fur.  16  ;  was  blasted 
by  a  thunderbolt  while  Bacchus 
was  still  unborn,  H.  Fur.  457  ; 
H.  Oet.  1804.  See  BACCHUS 

SENECA  (Octavia),  introduced  into 
the  play  as  Nero's  counsellor, 
Oct.  377  ;  recalls  his  life  in  exile 
in  Corsica,  and  considers  it 
happier  and  safer  than  his 
present  life,  ibid.  381  ;  strives 
in  vain  to  prevent  marriage  of 
Nero  and  Poppaea,  ibid.  695 

SERES,  nation  of  Asia,  supposed  to 
be  the  Chinese  ;  they  gather  silken 
threads  (spun  by  the  silkworm) 
from  trees,   H.   Oet.   666;   Hip 
389 ;  Thy.  379 

SILANUS,  L.  Junius,  praetor  in 
A.D.  49 ;  was  betrothed  to 
Octavia,  but  slain  that  Octavia 
might  marry  Nero,  Oct.  145 

SILENUS,  demigod,  foster-father  and 
constant  attendant  of  Bacchus, 
Oed.  429 

SINIS,  giant  robber  of  the  Isthmus 
of  Corinth,  who  bent  d9wn  tree- 
tops  and,  fixing  his  victims  to 
these,  shot  them  through  the 
air ;  was  slain  by  Theseus,  H 
Oet.  1393  ;  Hip.  1169,  1223 

SIN  ON,  Greek  warrior,  who  deceived 
the  Trojans  as  to  character  and 
purpose  of  wooden  horse,  and  so 
procured  downfall  of  Troy,  Tro. 
39  ;  Agam.  *626 

SIPYLUS,  mountain  in  Phrygia,  on 
which  Niobe,  changed  to  stone, 
was  said  to  sit  and  weep  eternally 
over  her  lost  children,  H.  Oet. 
185;  Agam.  394;  H.  Fur.  391. 
See  NIOBE 

SIRENS,  mythical  maidens  dwelling 
on  an  island  of  the  ocean,  whose 
beautiful  singing  lured  sailors  to 
destruction,  H.  Oet.  190 ;  were 
passed  in  safety  by  Argonauts 
because  Orpheus  played  sweeter 
music  Med.  355 

SISYPHUS,  son  of  Aeolus,  founder 
of  ancient  Corinth  father  of 


INDEX 


Creon,  Med.  512,  776  ;  Oed.  282  ; 
for  disobedience  to  the  gods  was 
set  to  rolling  a  huge  stone  up  a 
hill  in  Hades,  which  ever  rolled 
back  again,  Med.  746 ;  Uip. 
1230 ;  Agam.  16 ;  H.  Fur.  751  ; 
Thy.  6;  Oct.  622;  H.  Oet.  942, 
1010;  the  stone  followed  the 
music  of  Orpheus,  ibid.  1081 

SHINTHEUS,  epithet  of  Phoebus 
Apollo,  Agam.  176 

SOL,  the  Sun  personified  as  sun-god, 
H.  Fur.  37,  61;  Med.  29,  210; 
Thy.  637,  776,  789,  822,  990, 
1035 ;  Hip.  124,  1091 ;  H  Oet. 
150 

SOMNUS,  god  of  sleep,  brother  of 
Death,  H.  Fur.  1069  ;  called  son 
of  Astraea,  ibid.  1068  ;  character- 
istics, symbols,  and  powers, 
ibid.  *1065 

SPHINX,  fabulous  monster  with  face 
of  a  woman,  breast,  feet,  and 
tail  of  a  lion,  and  wings  of  a  bird  ; 
sent  to  harass  Thebes,  slaying 
everyone  who  could  not  answer 
her  riddle,  Oed.  246  ;  Phoen.  120, 
131;  Oedipus'  encounter  with  her, 
Oed.  *92 ;  slain  by  Oedipus,  ibid 
641  ;  seen  by  Creon  in  Hades, 
called  by  him  the  "  Oeygian 
(i.e.  Boeotian  or  Theban)  pest, 
ibid.  589  ;  type  of  winged  speed, 
Phoen.  422 

STROPH1US  (Agamemnon),  see 
PYLADES 

STYMPHALIAN  BIRDS,  monstrous 
creatures  haunting  a  pool  near 
town  of  Stymphalus  in  Arcadia  ; 
were  killed  by  Hercules  as  his 
sixth  labour,  H.  Fur.  244  ;  Med 
783 ;  Agam.  850 ;  H.  Oet.  17, 
1237, 1890  ;  type  of  winged  speed, 
Phoen.  422 

STYX,  river  of  Hades,  H.  Fiir.  780; 
Oed.  162,  over  which  spirits  pass 
into  nether  world,  river  of 
death  ;  in  Seneca,  this  conception 
is  not  confined  to  Styx,  but  is 
used  of  that  river  in  common 
with  Acheron,  H.  Fur.  *713 ; 
Hip.  1180;  Agam.  608;  with 
Lethe,  Hip.  148;  H.  Oet.  1161, 
1550 ;  with  Phlegethon,  Agam. 
*750 ;  by  the  Styx  the  gods 
Bwear  their  inviolable  oaths,  H. 
Fur.  713;  Hip.  944;  Thy.  666; 


H.  Oet.  1066 ;  cornea  to  mean 
death  itself,  H.  Fur.  185,  558; 
most  frequently  the  river  signifies 
the  lower  world  in  general,  the 
land  of  the  dead  ;  so  are  found 
Stygian  "  shades,"  "  homes," 
"  caverns,"  "  ports,"  "  gates," 
"  borders,"  "  torches,"  "  tires," 
etc.,  H.  Fur.  54,  90,  104,  1131; 
Tro.  430  ;  Med.  632,  804  ;  Hip 
477,  625,  928,  1151;  Oed.  396, 
401,  621;  Agam.  493;  Thy. 
1007;  H.  Oet.  77,  560,  1014, 
1145,  1198,  1203,  1711,  1766, 
1870,  1919,  1983;  Oct.  24,  79, 
135,  162,  263,  594  ;  Cerberus  is 
the  "  Stygian  dog  "  and  "  Sty- 
gian guardian,"  Agam.  13 ;  Hip. 
223  ;  H.  Oet.  79  1245  ;  the  "  deep 
embrace  of  Styx  "  is  the  pit 
which  Andromache  prays  may 
open  up  beneath  Hector's  tomb 
and  hide  Astyanax,  Tro.  520 ; 
the  boat  on  which  Agrippina  was 
to  meet  her  death  is  called  the 
Stygian  boat,  Oct.  127 
SYMPLEGAUES  (the  "  dashers "), 
two  rocks  or  crags  at  entrance  of 
Euxine  Sea,  which  clashed  to- 
gether when  an  object  passed 
between  them,  H.  Fur.  1210; 
H.  Oet.  1273,  1380  ;  escaped  by 
the  Argo,  Med.  341,  456,  610 

T 

TAENARTJS,  promontory  on  the 
southernmost  point  of  Pelopon- 
nesus, near  which  was  a  cave, 
said  to  be  entrance  to  the  lower 
world,  Tro.  402;  H.  Fur.  587, 
*663,  813;  Oed.  171;  Hip. 
1203;  H.  Oet.  1061,  1771 

TAGUS,  river  of  Spain,  celebrated 
for  its  golden  sands,  H.  Fur. 
1325  ;  Thy.  354  ;  H.  Oet.  626 

TANTALUS  (Thyestes)  (1),  king  of 
Lydia,  son  of  Jupiter  and  the 
nymph  Pluto,  father  of  Pelops 
and  Niobe,  H.  Fur.  390 ;  Oed. 
613  ;  Med.  954 ;  Agam.  392 ; 
H.  Oet.  198  ;  because  of  his  sin 
against  the  gods  (see  PELOPS) 
was  doomed  to  suffer  in  Hades 
endless  pangs  of  hunger  and  thirst 
with  fruit  and  water  almost 
within  reach  of  his  lips,  H  Fur. 

539 


INDEX 


*752  ;  Hip.  1232  ;  Agam.  19  ; 
Thy.  1011 ;  Oct.  621  ;  his  sin 
and  punishment,  Thy.  *137 ; 
H.  Oft.  943  ;  his  ghost  appears, 
describes  his  sufferings  in  Hades, 
and  is  incited  by  a  fury  to  urge 
on  his  house  to  greater  crimes, 
ibid.  1 ;  Med.  745  ;  type  of  out- 
rageous sinner,  Thy.  242 ;  he 
forgets  his  thirst  In  his  grief  for 
disasters  which  threaten  his 
house,  Agam.  769 ;  forgets  his 
thirst  under  influence  of  Orpheus' 
music,  H.  Oet.  1075 

TANTALUS  (Thyestes)  (2).  one  of 
the  sons  of  Thyestes,  great-grand- 
son of  Tantalus  (1),  encourages 
his  father  to  hope  for  reconcilia- 
tion with  his  brother  Atreus, 
Thy.  421 ;  slain  by  Atreus,  ibid. 
718 

TARTARUS  (also  written  TARTARA), 
strictly  that  portion  of  the  lower 
world  devoted  to  the  punishment 
of  the  wicked,  the  abode  of  the 
Furies  and  of  those  like  Tantalus, 
Ixion,  etc.,  who  are  suffering 
torments,  H.  Fur.  86 ;  Oed.  161  ; 
Med.  742 ;  Oct.  965 ;  usually, 
however,  the  lower  world  in 
general,  whence  ghosts  come  back 
to  earth,  Agam.  2  ;  Oct.  593  ;  to 
which  Orpheus  went  hi  search 
of  his  wife,  Med.  632;  H.  Oet. 
1064  ;  to  which  Hercules  went  to 
fetch  Cerberus,  H.  Oet.  461  ;  Hip. 
844 ;  where  was  the  palace  of 
Dis,  ibid.  951  ;  Agam.  751  ;  where 
Cerberus  stands  guard,  H.  Fur 
649 ;  H.  Oet.  1770 ;  where  are 
the  "  Tartarian  pools,"  Hip 
1179 ;  and  so  in  general,  H.  Fur 
436,  710,  889,  1225  ;  Oed.  869  ; 
Phoen.  144,  145;  Thy.  1013, 
1071  ;  H.  Oet.  1126,  1119,  1514, 
1765,  1779  ;  Oct.  223,  644 

TAURUS,  second  zodiacal  constel- 
lation, the  Bull :  the  bull  (Jupiter) 
which  bore  Europa  from  Phoe- 
nicia to  Crete,  H.  Fur  9,  952; 
Thy.  852 

TELEPHUS,  king  of  Mysia,  wounded 
by  Achilles'  spear,  and  afterwards 
cured  by  application  of  the  rust 
scraped  from  its  point,  Tro.  215 

TEREUS,  king  of  Thrace,  whose 
feast  upon  his  own  son,  Itys,  is 

540 


called    the    "  Thracian    crime,' 
Thy.  56.     See  PHILOMELA  and 
PROCNE 

TETHYS,  goddess  of  the  sea,  used 
frequently  for  the  sea  itself,  hi 
which  the  sun  sets  and  from 
which  it  rises,  Hip.  571,  1161 ; 
H.  Fur.  887,  1328;  Tro.  879; 
Med.  378  ;  H.  Oet.  1252,  1902 

THEBES,  capital  city  of  Boeotia, 
founded  by  Cadmus,  H.  Fur. 
268  ;  its  walls  built  by  magic  of 
Amphion's  lyre,  ibid.  262 ;  fre- 
quently visited  by  the  gods, 
especially  Jove,  ibid.  265  ;  plague- 
smitten  under  Oedipus,  Oed. 
*37  ;  plague  described,  ibid.  *125 ; 
a  curse  was  on  Thebes  from  the 
time  of  Cadmus,  ibid.  *709 ; 
conquered  by  Lycus,  usurper, 
who  slew  Creon,  father  of 
Megara,  H.  Fur.  270 ;  scene  of 
the  Hercules  Furens,  Oedipus,  and 
Phoenissae  (in  part) 

THESEUS  (Hercules  Furens,  Hip- 
polytus),  king  of  Athens,  son  of 
Aegeus  and  Aethra,  daughter  of 
Pittheus,  king  of  Troezene ; 
reputed  son  of  Neptune,  who  had 
granted  him  three  wishes,  Hip. 
942,  943,  1252,  the  last  of  which 
he  used  against  his  son,  Hippoly- 
tus,  ibid.  945  ;  went  to  Crete  to 
slay  the  Minotaur ;  his  beauty, 
ibid.  *646,  1067  ;  finds  his  way 
out  of  the  labyrinth  by  aid  of  a 
thread  given  by  Ariadne,  ibid. 
650,  662  ;  fled  with  Ariadne,  but 
deserted  her  on  Naxos,  Oed. 
488 ;  was  cause  of  his  father's 
death,  since  he  did  not  display 
the  white  sail  on  his  return  to 
Athens,  Hip.  1165 ;  married 
Antiope,  the  Amazon,  who  be- 
came the  mother  of  Hippolytus, 
but  afterwards  slew  her,  ibid. 
226,  927,  1167  ;  married  Phaedra, 
ibid,  passim ;  went  to  Hades 
with  his  friend  Pirithoxis,  to 
assist  in  carrying  away  Proserpina, 
ibid.  91,  627;  the  two  were  appre- 
hended by  Dis  and  set  upon  an 
enchanted  rock  which  held  them 
fast,  H.  Fur.  1339 ;  Theseus 
rescued  by  Hercules,  ibid.  806 ; 
H.  Oet.  1197,  1763;  Hip.  843; 
returns  from  Hades,  ibid  829 


INDEX 


THESPIADES,  fifty  daughters  of 
Thespiua,  loved  by  Hercules,  H. 
Oet.  369 

THETIS,  sea-goddess,  daughter  of 
Nereus ;  was  given  as  wife  to 
Peleus,  Med.  657 ;  Oct.  707 ; 
became  by  him  mother  of 
Achilles,  Tro.  346,  880;  Agam. 
616  ;  to  keep  her  son  from  Trojan 
War  hid  him  disguised  in  girl's 
garments  at  the  court  of  Lyco- 
medes,  Tro.  213 ;  this  ruse 
discovered  and  exposed  by  Ulys- 
ses, ibid.  569 

THULE,  farthest  known  land ; 
all  lands  one  day  will  be  known, 
and  there  will  be  no  ultima  Thule, 
Med.  379 

THYESTES  (Thyestes,  Agamem- 
non), see  ATREUS 

TIPHYS,  pilot  of  the  Argo,  Med. 
3,  318  ;  his  management  of  the 
vessel,  ibid.  *318  ;  grew  pale  at 
sight  of  Symplegades,  ibid.  346  ; 
death,  *617 

TIRESIAS  (Oedipus),  prophet  of 
Thebes,  father  of  Manto ;  at- 
tempts to  discover  the  murderer 
of  Lai  us,  Oed.  288 ;  practises 
pyromantia,  capnomantia,  hiero- 
scopia,  and  later  necromantia, 
ibid.  *307  ;  discovers  by  the  last 
process  that  Oedipus  himself 
slew  Lalus,  ibid.  *530 

TISIPHONE,  one  of  the  Furies,  who 
seems  to  appear  to  Deianira,  H. 
Oet.  1012 ;  seems  to  appear  to 
Hercules,  H.  Fur.  984.  See 
FURIES 

TITANS,  sons  of  Coelus  and  Terra, 
one  of  whom  was  Hyperion, 
identified  by  ^mer  with  the 
Sun.  Warred  against  one  of  their 
own  number,  Saturn,  who  had 
succeeded  to  his  father's  throne. 
Frequently  confounded  with  the 
Giants,  who  banded  together  to 
dethrone  Jove ;  they  piled  up 
mountains  in  their  attempt  to 
scale  heaven,  but  were  over- 
thrown by  Jove's  thunderbolt 
and  buried  under  Sicily,  H.  Fur. 
79,  967  ;  Med.  410  ;  Agam  340  ; 
fl.  Oet.  144,  1212,  1309  in  all 
other  passages  in  Seneca  Titan 
means  the  Sun,  more  or  less 
completely  personified  as  the 


sun-god,  H.  Fur.  124,  133,  443, 
1060,  1333;  Med.  5;  Tro.  170; 
Hip.  678,  779 ;  Oed.  1,  40 ; 
Thy.  120,  785,  1095  ;  Agam.  460, 
908;  H.  Oet.  42,  291,  423,  488, 
723,  781,  891,  968,  1111,  1131, 
1163,  1287,  1512,  1518,  1566, 
1575,  1760  ;  Oct.  2.  See  GIANTS, 
PHOEBUS 

TITYUS,  giant,  son  of  Earth,  who 
offered  violence  to  Latona ;  for 
this  he  was  punished  in  Hades, 
where  a  vulture  kept  feeding 
upon  his  ever-renewed  vitals, 
H.  Fur.  756,  977  ;  H.  Oet.  947  ; 
Hip.  1233  ;  Agam.  17  ;  Thy.  9, 
806 ;  Oct.  622 ;  relieved  for  a 
while  by  music  of  Orpheus,  H. 
Oet.  1070 

TMOLUS,  mountain  in  Lydia,  haunt 
of  Bacchus,  Phoen.  602 

TOXEUS,  youth  slain  by  Hercules, 
H.  Oet.  214 

TRiPTOLEiMUS,  son  of  the  king  of 
Eleusis,  through  whom  Ceres  gave 
the  arts  of  agriculture  to  man- 
kind, Hip.  838 

TRITONS,  sea-deities ;  they  sang  the 
marriage  chorus  of  Achilles,  Tro. 
202 

TRIVIA,  epithet  of  Diana,  because 
she  presided  over  places  where 
three  roads  meet,  Agam.  382 ; 
Oct.  978  ;  applied  by  association 
to  Luna,  the  heavenly  manifesta- 
tion of  Diana,  Med.  *787 

TROILUS,  son  of  Priam,  slain  by 
Achilles,  Agam.  748 

TROY,  ancient  city  of  Troas;  its 
walls  built  by  Neptune  and 
Apollo,  Tro.  7  ;  first  destroyed  in 
reign  of  Laomedon,  father  of 
Priam,  by  Hercules  and  Telamon, 
because  of  the  perfidy  of  Laome- 
don, Agam.  614,  862;  Tro.  135, 
*719  ;  its  second  fall  was  after 
ten  years  of  siege  by  the  Greeks, 
ZVo.74  ;  her  festal  day  turned  out 
to  be  a  day  of  doom,  Agam. 
791 ;  it  was  Sinon  who  destroyed 
Troy,  by  deceiving  the  Trojans 
about  the  wooden  horse,  ibid. 
615 ;  mourning  for  the  fall  of 
Troy,  ibid.  589 ;  smouldering 
ruins  as  seen  from  the  Greek 
vessels,  ibid.  456 

TULLIA,  daughter  of  Servius  Tul- 

541 


INDEX 


lius,  king  of  Home ;  her  impious 
Bin  and  its  punishment,  Oct. 
304 

TYNDARI-DAE,  Castor  and  Pollux, 
sons  of  Jupiter  and  Leda,  but 
falsely  named  from  Tyndareus, 
husband  of  Leda  ;  their  stars  give 
help  to  sailors  B.  Fur.  14,  552  ; 
Oct.  208.  See  CASTOR,  LEDA 

TYNDAJUS,  Clytemnestra,  Agam. 
897 

TYPHOEUS,  one  of  the  Giants  who 
fought  against  Jove,  Med.  773  ; 
Thy.  809  ;  he  is  supposed  to  be 
buried  under  the  island  of 
Itiarime,  H.  Oet.  1155 

TYPBON,  giant,  apparently  the 
same  as  Typhoeus,  H.  Oet.  1733  ; 
Oct.  238 

TYRRHENE,  epithet  applied  to 
Phoenician  pirates  who  attempted 
to  kidnap  Bacchus,  Oed.  249 ; 
to  the  dolphin,  because  these 
pirates  were  changed  into  dol- 
phins by  Bacchus,  Agam.  451  ; 
to  the  Tuscan  Sea,  because  the 
Etrurians  were  supposed  to  have 
been  of  Tyrrhenian  stock,  Oct. 
311  ;  to  Inarime,  an  island, 
possibly  to  be  identified  with 
Iscniii,  lying  in  the  Tyrrhene  Sea 
off  Campania,  H.  Oet.  1156 


ULYSSES  (Troades),  Tro.  passim 


VENUS,  goddess,  sprung  from  the 
foam  of  the  sea,  Hip.  274 ; 
goddess  of  love,  ibid.  417,  576, 
910  ;  Oct.  545  ;  mother  of  Cupid, 
Hip  275 ;  H.  Oet.  543  ;  Oct.  697; 
called  Erycina,  because  Mt.  Eryx 
in  Sicily  was  sacred  to  her.  Hip. 
199 ;  persecuted  the  stock  of 
Phoebus  (i.e.  Pasiphae  and 
Phaedra)  because  that  god  had 
published  her  amours  with  Mars, 
ibid.  124  ;  cursed  Messalina  with 
insatiate  lust,  Oct.  253  ;  effect 


upon  the  world  which  the  ces- 
sation of  Venus'  power  would 
produce,  Hip.  **469 ;  has  no 
existence,  but  is  used  as  an 
excuse  for  men's  lust.  ibid.  203  ; 
used  frequently  for  the  passion 
of  love,  either  lawful  or  unlawful, 
ibid.  211,  237,  339,  447,  462, 
721,  913  ;  Agam.  183,  275,  927  ; 
Oct.  191,  433 

VIRGINIA,  daughter  of  Virginius, 
slain  by  her  father  to  save  her 
from  the  lust  of  Appius  Claudius, 
Oct.  296 

VIRGO,  zodiacal  constellation  of  the 
Virgin,  Astraea,  daughter  of 
Jove  and  Themis,  who  left  the 
earth  last  of  all  the  gods  on 
account  of  man's  sin,  Thy.  857 

VULCAN,  god  of  fire  ;  forges  thun- 
derbolts of  Jove,  Hip.  190  ;  is 
pierced  by  Cupid's  darts,  ibid. 
193  ;  father  of  Cupid  and  husband 
of  Venud,  Oct.  560 


ZETES,  winged  son  of  Boreas,  who, 
together  with  his  brother  Calais, 
was  a  member  of  Argonautic 
expedition  ;  they  were  slain  by 
Hercules,  Med.  634 ;  they  had 
previously  driven  away  the 
Harpies  from  Phineus,  ibid. 
782 

ZETBUS,  Theban  prince,  son  of 
Antiope,  niece  of  Lycus,  king  of 
Thebes  ;  he  and  his  twin  brother, 
Amphion,  exposed  in  infancy  on 
Cithaeron,  but  were  saved  by 
shepherds.  Arrived  at  manhood, 
they  killed  Lycus  and  Dirce,  his 
wife,  on  account  of  their  cruelties 
to  Antiope,  and  together  reigned 
in  Thebes.  Reference  is  made  to 
their  rustic  life  in  H.  Fur.  916 ; 
the  shade  of  Zethus  comes  up 
from  Hades,  still  holding  by  the 
horn  the  wild  bull  to  which  he 
had  tied  Dirce,  Oed.  610.  See 
DIRCE 


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ARISTOTLE:    NICOMACHEAN  ETHICS.     H.  Rackham. 
ARISTOTLE:    OECONOMICA  and  MAONA  MORALIA.     G.  C.  Arm- 
strong;   (with  Metaphysics,  Vol.  II.). 
ARISTOTLE:    ON  THE  HEAVENS.     W.  K.  C.  Guthrie. 
ARISTOTLE:   ON  THE  Sour/.     PARVA  NATURALIA.     ON  BREATH. 

W.  S.  Hett. 
ARISTOTLE:       CATEGORIES,      ON      INTERPRETATION,       PRIOR 

ANALYTICS.     H.  P.  Cooke  and  H.  Tredennick. 
ARISTOTLE:     POSTERIOR   ANALYTICS,    TOPICS.     H.   Tredennick 

and  E.  S.  Forster. 
ARISTOTLE:   ON  SOPHISTICAL  REFUTATIONS. 

On  Coming  to  be  and  Passing  Away,  On  the  Cosmos.     E.  S. 

Forster  and  D.  J.  Furley. 
ARISTOTLE:    PARTS  OF  ANIMALS.     A.  L.  Peck;    MOTION  AND 

PROGRESSION  OF  ANIMALS.     E.  S.  Forster. 


ARISTOTLE:   PHYSICS.     Rev.  P.  Wicksteed  and  F.  M.  Cornford. 

2  Vols. 
ARISTOTLE:     POETICS    and    LONGINUS.     W.    Hamilton    Fyfe; 

DEMETRIUS  ON  STYLE.     W.  Rhys  Roberts. 
ARISTOTLE:   POLITICS.     H.  Rackham. 
ARISTOTLE:    PROBLEMS.     W.  S.  Hett.     2  Vols. 
ARISTOTLE:     RHETORICA   AD    ALEXANDRTJM   (with   PROBLEMS. 

Vol.  II.)     H.  Rackham. 
ARRIAN:   HISTORY  OF  ALEXANDER  and  INDICA.     Rev.  E.  Ilift'e 

Robson.     2  Vols. 

ATHENAEUS:   DEIPNOSOPHISTAE.     C.  B.  GULICK.     7  Vols. 
BABRIUS  AND  PHAEDRUS  (Latin).    B.  E.  Perry. 
ST.  BASIL:    LETTERS.     R.  J.  Deferrari.     4  Vols. 
CALLIMACHUS:   FRAGMENTS.     C.  A.  Trypanis. 
CALLIMACHUS,  Hymns  and  Epigrams,  and  LYCOPHRON.     A.  W. 

Mair;   ARATUS.     G.  R.  MAIR. 

CLEMENT  of  ALEXANDRIA.     Rev.  G.  W.  Butterworth. 
COLLUTHUS.     Cf.  OPPIAN. 
DAPHNIS     AND     CHLOE.     Thornley's    Translation     revised     by 

J.  M.  Edmonds;   and  PARTHENIUS.     S.  Gaselee. 
DEMOSTHENES  I. :    OLYNTHIACS,  PHILIPPICS  and  MINOR  ORA- 
TIONS.    l.-XVII.  AND  XX.     J.  H.  Vince. 
DEMOSTHENES   II.:    DE  CORONA  and  DE  FALSA  LEGATIONS. 

C.  A.  Vince  and  J.  H.  Vince. 
DEMOSTHENES    III.:      MEIDIAS,    ANDROTION,    ARISTOCRATES, 

TIMOCRATES  and  ARISTOGEITON,  I.  AND  II.     J.  H.  Vince. 
DEMOSTHENES  IV .-VI.:    PRIVATE  ORATIONS  and  IN  NEAERAM. 

A.  T.  Murray. 
DEMOSTHENES  VII. :  FUNERAL  SPEECH,  EROTIC  ESSAY,  EXORDIA 

and  LETTERS.     N.  W.  and  N.  J.  DeWitt. 
Dio  CASSIUS:   ROMAN  HISTORY.     E.  Cary.     9  Vols. 
Dio  CHRYSOSTOM.    J.  W.  Cohoon  and  H.  Lamar  Crosby.    5  Vols. 
DIODORUS  SICULUS.      12  Vols.     Vols.  I.-VI.     C.  H.  Oldfather. 

Vol.  VII.     C.  L.  Sherman.     Vol.  VIII.     C.  B.  Welles.     Vols. 

IX.    and    X.     R.    M.    Geer.     Vols.    XI.-XII.     F.    Walton, 

General  Index,  R.  M.  Geer. 
DIOGENES  LAERTIUS.     R.  D.  Hicks.     2  Vols. 
DIONYSIUS  OF  HALICARNASSUS  :    ROMAN  ANTIQUITIES.     Spel- 

man's  translation  revised  by  E.  Gary.     7  Vols. 
EPICTETUS.     W.  A.  Oldfather.     2  Vols. 
EURIPIDES.     A.  S.  Way.     4  Vols.     Verse  trans. 
EUSEBIUS:     ECCLESIASTICAL    HISTORY.      Kirsopp    Lake    and 

J.  E.  L.  Oulton.     2  Vols. 

GALEN:   ON  THE  NATURAL  FACULTIES.     A.  J.  Brock. 
THE  GREEK  ANTHOLOGY.     W.  R.  Paton.     5  Vols. 
GREEK   ELEGY  AND   IAMBUS  with  the  ANACREONTEA.     J.   M. 

Edmonds.     2  Vols. 

5 


THE  GREEK  BUCOLIC  POETS  (THEOCRITUS,  BION,  MOSCHUS). 
J.  M.  Edmonds. 

GREEK  MATHEMATICAL  WORKS.     Ivor  Thomas.     2  Vols. 

HERODES.     Cf.  THEOPHRASTUS  :   CHARACTERS. 

HERODOTUS.     A.  D.  Godley.     4  Vols. 

HESIOD  AND  THE  HOMERIC  HYMNS.     H.  G.  Evelyn  White. 

HIPPOCRATES  and  the  FRAGMENTS  OF  HERACLEITUS.     W.  H.  S. 

Jones  and  E.  T.  Withington.     4  Vols. 
HOMER:   ILIAD.     A.  T.  Murray.     2  Vols. 
HOMER:    ODYSSEY.     A.  T.  Murray.     2  Vols. 
ISAEUS.     E.  W.  Forster. 
ISOCRATES.     George  Norlin  and  LaRue  Van  Hook.     3  Vols. 

[ST.  JOHN  DAMASCENE]:  BARLAAM  AND  IOASAPH.    Rev.  G.  R. 

Woodward,  Harold  Mattingly  and  D.  M.  Lang. 
JOSEPHUS.     9   Vols.     Vols.   I .-IV.;    H.  Thackeray.     Vol.   V.; 

H.  Thackeray  and  R.  Marcus.     Vols.  VI.-VII.;    R.  Marcus. 

Vol.  VIII.;  R.  Marcus  and  Allen  Wikgren.     Vol.  IX.  L.  H. 

Feldman. 

JULIAN.     Wilmer  Cave  Wright.     3  Vols. 

LUCIAN.     8  Vols.     Vols.  I.-V.     A.  M.  Harmon.     Vol.  VI.     K. 

Kilburn.     Vols.  VII.-VIII.     M.  D.  Macleod. 
LYCOPHRON.     Cf.  CALLIMACHUS. 
LYRA  GRAECA.     J.  M.  Edmonds.     3  Vols. 
LYSIAS.     W.  R.  M.  Lamb. 

MANETHO.     W.  G.  Waddell:   PTOLEMY:   TETRABIBLOS.     F.  E. 

Robbins. 

MARCUS  AURELIUS.     C.  R.  Haines. 
MENANDER.     F.  G.  Allinson. 
MINOR   ATTIC    ORATORS   (ANTIPHON,    ANDOCIDES,    LYCURQUS, 

DEMADES,  DINARCHUS,  HYPERIDES).     K.  J.  Maidment  and 

J.  O.  Burrt.      2  Vols. 

NONNOS:  DIONYSIACA.  W7.  H.  D.  Rouse.  3  Vols. 
OPPIAN,  COLLUTHUS,  TRYPHIODORUS.  A.  W.  Mair. 
PAPYRI.  NON-LITERARY  SELECTIONS.  A.  S.  Hunt  and  C.  C. 

Edgar.     2  Vols.     LITERARY  SELECTIONS  (Poetry).    D.L.  Page. 
PARTHENIUS.     Cf.  DAPHNIS  and  CHLOE. 
PAUSANIAS:    DESCRIPTION  OF  GREECE.     W.  H.  S.   Jones.     4 

Vols.  and  Companion  Vol.  arranged  by  R.  E.  Wycherley. 
PHILO.     10  Vols.     Vols.  I.-V.;    F.  H.  Colson  and  Rev.  G.  H. 

Whitaker.     Vols.  VI.-IX.;    F.  H.  Colson.     Vol.  X.     F.  H. 

Colson  and  the  Rev.  J.  W.  Earp. 

PHILO:    two  supplementary  Vols.     (Translation  only.)     Ralph 
Marcus. 

PHILOSTRATUS  :    THE  LIFE  or  APOLLONIUS  OF  TYANA.     F.  C. 
Conybeare.     2  Vols. 

6 


PHILOSTRATUS :   IMAGINES;  CALLISTRATUS :  DESCRIPTIONS.     A. 

Fairbanks. 
PHILOSTRATUS  and  EUNAPIUS  :  LIVES  OF  THE  SOPHISTS.     Wilmer 

Cave  Wright. 

PINDAR.     Sir  J.  E.  Sandys. 
PLATO:    CHARMLDES,  ALCIBIADES,  HIPPARCHUS,  THE  LOVERS, 

THEAGES,  MINOS  and  EPINOMIS.     W.  R.  M.  Larab. 
PLATO:    CRATYLUS,   PARMENIDES,   GREATER  HIPPIAS,   LESSER 

HIPPIAS.     H.  N.  Fowler. 
PLATO:    EUTHYPHRO,   APOLOGY,   CRITO,   PHAEDO,   PHAEDRUS. 

H.  N.  Fowler. 
PLATO:  LACHES,  PROTAGORAS,  MENO,  EUTHYDEMUS.     W.  R.  M. 

Lamb. 

PLATO:   LAWS.     Rev.  R.  G.  Bury.     2  Vols. 
PLATO:   LYSIS,  SYMPOSIUM,  GORGIAS.     W.  R.  M.  Lamb. 
PLATO:   REPUBLIC.     Paul  Shorey.     2  Vols. 
PLATO:  STATESMAN,  PHILEBUS.     H.  N.  Fowler;  ION.     W.  R.  M. 

Lamb. 

PLATO:   THEAETETUS  and  SOPHIST.     H.  N.  Fowler. 
PL/ TO:  TIMAEUS,  CRITIAS,  CLITOPHO,  MENEXENUS,  EPISTULAE. 

Rev.  R.  G.  Bury. 

PLOTINUS:     A.  H.  Armstrong.     Vols.  I.-III. 
PLUTARCH:    MORALIA.     15  Vols.     Vols.  I.-V.     F.  C.  Babbitt. 

Vol.  VI.     W.  C.  Helmbold.     Vols.  VII.  and  XIV.     P.  H.  De 

Lacy  and  B.  Einarson.     Vol.  IX.     E.  L.  Minar,  Jr.,  F.  H.  Sand- 
bach,  W.  C.  Helmbold.     Vol.  X.     H.  N.  Fowler.     Vol.  XI. 

L.  Pearson  and  F.  H.  Sandbach.     Vol.  XII.     H.  Cherniss  and 

W.  C.  Helmbold. 

PLUTARCH:   THE  PARALLEL  LIVES.     B.  Perrin.      11  Vols. 
POLYBIUS.     W.  R.  Paton.     6  Vols. 

PROCOPIUS  :   HISTORY  OF  THE  WARS.     H.  B.  Dewing.     7  VoU. 
PTOLEMY:   TETRABIBLOS.     Cf.  MANETHO. 
QUTNTUS  SMYRNAEUS.     A.  S.  Way.     Verse  trans. 
SEXTUS  EMPIRIC  as.     Rev.  R.  G.  Bury.     4  Vols. 
SOPHOCLES.     F.  Storr.     2  Vols.     Verse  trans. 
STRABO:   GEOGRAPHY.     Horace  L.  Jones.     8  Vols. 
THEOPHRASTUS  :     CHARACTERS.     J.    M.    Edmonds.     HERODES, 

etc.     A.  D.  Ivnox. 
THEOPHRASTUS:     ENQUIRY    INTO    PLANTS.     Sir    Arthur   Hort, 

Bart.     2  Vols. 

THUCYDIDES.     C.  F.  Smith.     4  Vols. 
TBYPHIODORUS.     Cf.  OPPIAN. 

XENOPHON  :  CYROPAEDIA.     Walter  Miller.     2  Vols. 
XENOPHON:  HELLENICA,  ANABASIS,  APOLOGY,  and  SYMPOSIUM. 

C.  L.  Brownson  and  O.  J.  Todd.     3  Vols. 

XENOPHON  :  MEMORABILIA  and  OECONOMICUS.     E.  C.  Marchant. 
XENOPHON:    SCRIPTA   MINORA.     E.   C.   Marchant  and  G.  W. 

Bowersock. 

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